A successful free flow play session offers a rich play and learning experience for children. It allows them to progress at their own, individual pace, and practice in choosing and in dealing with the consequences of their choice. It also encourages a more flexible and open-ended use of the groups resources.

Professor Tina Bruce reminds practitioners that play should be intrinsically motivating. Children require the opportunity to “wallow in ideas, feelings and relationships” (Time to Play in Early Childhood). She also goes on to suggest that play integrates everything the child learns, knows, feels, relates to and understands.

Other benefits of free flow play include, but are not limited to:

1. Great independence- as children are able to access the different environments freely, it helps them develop a greater independence. They are able to make those independent choices as to whether they want to play outdoors or access the messy activities inside. Older children, especially, strive on being given extra responsibilities and this will help them later on in life.

2. Progress at own pace- children shouldn’t be rushed in their learning. It should be about giving children the time they need to fully embrace the skills they are learning. Free flow play allows children the opportunity to develop at their own pace; they can decide to either spend the morning outside participating in the stimulating activities or sitting at the table manipulating play dough.

3. Decision making- if children are able to choose where they would like to play and with what, this is developing their decision making skills. As they get older, they will begin to learn that their choices may have consequences.

4. Physical well-being- offering children the choice, especially the choice to play outdoors, enables them the opportunity to run around and build on their physical skills. Practitioners can use their skills to mirror indoor activities outside, which is great for children who prefer to spend their time outdoors.

5. Different environments- as children explore their different environments it allows them to open up many leaning opportunities especially as they begin to discover the differences between the indoors and the outside.

It’s important to understand and remember a child’s play is:

  • Central to their learning
  • An integral part of a child’s development and learning
  • A purposeful experience
  • The right of all children

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in early year’s education, we can aid you. Virtually all jobs in working with children require appropriate training and qualifications. We can provide you with advice and training whether you want to start working with them or develop in your current role. We also deliver an introductory course in Forest Schools helping you to create a really tempting outside environment.

For more information, you can get in touch with us via our contact page or by giving us a call on 0300 300 8131. Alternatively, you can view our current vacancies here.