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Mothers and their children in a sensory play group

Play: How and why to play with your child

Parents have an important role in growing their child’s imagination through play which enhances their thinking later in life. Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer says her work shows how important it is for carers to play in new ways with their children.

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Litte girl playing at being a carpenter

Supporting toddlers’ pretend play

While it is easy to overlook the importance of make believe play, the ability to pretend is a cornerstone of children’s cognitive development. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at why it is important and how we can encourage it.

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Girl with muticolored paint covering face smiling

The hidden support playgroups provide

At playgroup, parents and carers get together with their children for a couple of hours each week to create social networks, connect and learn through play. Studies are also showing the positive impact playgroups are having on children's development.

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Young girl playing with toys

When too many toys are a big distraction

It’s not unusual for parents to complain their children have too many toys, usually because of clutter. However a study has found that having an abundance of toys may not be a great thing, as it prevents children from being as creative as possible.

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Supporting children through play

At a time when most Australian parents are spending more time with our young children than ever before, the idea of how to engage children through play is more relevant than ever. Professor Marilyn Fleer shares a technique called Conceptual Playworlds.

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Children in playground

Outdoor play: The benefits for children

Free or unstructured play is when children choose activities or games that interest them and are not directed by an adult. If children are playing you might think ‘Should I tell them what to do? Or should I just let them play and see what happens?'.

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Smiling muddy little girl

The benefits of nature play for children

There is a global movement seeking more outdoor nature play for children. Not simply outdoor playgrounds with manufactured equipment, but unstructured play activities in outdoor settings where natural elements feature, such as logs, rocks and water.

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Child at the airport

Small teaching moments while travelling

For young children, the travel experience itself is education.Travel is exposing children to new experiences and broadening their minds - this could be cultural, social, environmental or geographical. But it's also about bonding and creating memories.

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