Play to learn

Play & Learning:  Matching Challenge with Ease

Play is the natural state of learning for all of us, children and adults. During play we experience a flowing sense of activity and time. In play we are comfortable in our own skins, curious and challenged.


During play children use their senses and they move. This is sensory-motor activity – using the sensory side of our brain and the movement, or motor, side of our brain. For enjoyable play and learning to take place, a child needs his brain and nervous system to be well organized. Human brains are complex – we have more synaptic connections in our brains than the stars in the heavens.

Young brains develop in stages through childhood from lower brain to higher brain. Children love to move – and their developmental movements organize body systems and senses.

Examples of key systems that need to be well organized for ease in learning:

  • sense of touch
  • sense of balance
  • sense of body map
  • sense of movement
  • sense of space
  • vision
  • hearing
  • sense of self

When these foundational systems are working in harmony, the brain can easily be called upon for creative thinking and problem solving. The ability to calm ourselves, to be quiet, and focus relies on the fundamental internal organization of these systems and senses.

When the brain is well organized and appropriate activities and relationships are offered to a child he is in play mode – and the best possible learning mode.


Find more about developmental movement at Articles.