Crafted Play™ VS Free Play: How Types Of Play Affect Your Child’s Development

January 27, 2022

When most people hear the word ‘play’ they tend to associate it with trivial or meaningless fun. But, mention ‘play’ to parents and educators and you’ll see their eyes light up in recognition and excitement. Play is a crucial part of early development, as it is the trial and error process through which young children explore, test and interpret the world around them. As their neural networks are still in the developmental stage, failure and re-attempts at a task during play are what help children make connections between sensory input and inner emotions.

Here at MindChamps, we strive to incorporate meaningful opportunities for Crafted Play™ throughout our methodology. But what exactly is Crafted Play™ and how does it differ from other types of Play in early childhood? Explore the benefits of Crafted Play™ with us and see how it can help improve long-term learning outcomes beyond the preschool years.

Types of play

There are two main types of Play:

  1. Free Play
  2. Crafted Play™

The main difference is the level of structure interwoven into the Play. In Free Play, children are supervised but essentially left to their own devices. They can explore the various toys or activities around them at their own pace, without any guided outcomes. In comparison, Crafted Play™ provides children with a similar range of experiential learning opportunities, but with enough structure to lead to a particular outcome such as developing their numeracy or language skills.

At MindChamps, we adopt Crafted Play™ to help foster a lifelong love for learning in our Champs. Our ‘Play-Stations’ are carefully crafted to suit children’s developing interest and needs, allowing us to tailor each Play experience to help immerse your child in the learning process.

1. Incorporating hands-on play

One of the most common ways we incorporate Crafted Play™ into our curriculum is through interactive role-playing activities, such as setting up a ‘grocery store’ and allowing Champs to ‘purchase’ their own items. This can help develop numeracy skills (counting out money), language skills (communicating with the cashier), and social skills (being kind and courteous). Other skills such as confidence and resilience are also fostered, as children are given first-hand opportunities to try out new approaches or decisions.

2. Focusing on exploration and enjoyment

Crafted Play™ has a big focus on giving children the leeway to explore and test their own boundaries. Our sessions include indoor and outdoor activities to expose children to a wide range of environments and experiences and encourage their natural curiosity. Whereas our S.M.I.L.E.S.™ methodology provides a nurturing and safe space for children to learn, grow, and explore while acquiring essential Sensory, Motor, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional, and Social skills. MindChamps aims to build children’s self-awareness and self-confidence so that they can hold onto this sense of wonder as they grow.

3. Creating positive associations with learning

Above all, we want to move away from rote learning or memorisation as part of the early learning process. A child’s attitudes towards learning or education are shaped even as young as their preschool years, making this time a formative period of change and development. MindChamps’ 3-Mind Approach aims to unlock a child’s full potential through quality teaching, care and learning in order to bring out the Champion Mindset in each and every child.

Learn through Crafted Play™ with MindChamps

Book a visit with your nearest MindChamps centre to find out more about our activities and facilities. Our preschool and child care programmes utilise the latest in research-based pedagogy and methodology to ensure we meet the highest of childhood education standards.