October 2022

Five ways to spot playful learning

How can you tell if a child is playfully learning and picking up essential skills? Our research says you’ll know it when you see it.

For an activity to be considered playful learning, we believe that it involves five characteristics

You might not spot all five characteristics in every kind of play, but the chances are you’ll see several characteristics and skills coming together in most types of learning through play.

Joyful
Meaningful
Actively engaged
Iterative
Socially interactive

Look at hide-and-seek

As soon as the game starts, the space under the bed or behind a tree takes on a new meaning as it becomes a secret hideout. It’s a serious and actively engaging business, one that encourages anyone hiding to stay as quiet as possible. Every time a child is found they iterate to find better hiding spots next time – often negotiating with other children to share the best spaces. And, of course, there’s the joy and laughter than comes with being caught.

Dive deeper