The Power of Play and its impact on early childhood learning

Learn key techniques to help you understand why, when and how to empower and extend children's creative play
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  • Lectures 11
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

If you’re asking any of the following questions:

  • How do I support and extend our children’s play?
  • When is it best to step in and play alongside, or just stay back and observe progress?
  • What types of play are our children engaging in?
  • Why do some children struggle to play and how can I help?

Then then this course is for you!

Our brand new course, the Power of Play, will give you the knowledge you need to support your children as well as you possibly can. We will illustrate techniques that will help you know when and how to support your children’s creative play. And we’ll give you some new play ideas that are great fun to put into practice.


  • The difference between various play styles
  • How play impacts on early learning and development
  • How to observe which are your children’s preferred play styles
  • How to identify if children need encouragement in other types of play
  • What to do if you spot obstacles to play in the setting
  • Four practical techniques to encourage your children to think and play more creatively

What are the requirements?

  • No prior knowledge or software is required but you should ideally be working with young children, supporting those who do, or studying early childhood development for this course to be of most benefit

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the difference between various play styles
  • Observe which are your children’s preferred play styles
  • Measure how different play styles enhance different areas of learning and development
  • Analyse which play styles are strongly evident, and which ones might need more support
  • Identify what to do if you spot obstacles to play in the setting
  • Benefit from four practical techniques to encourage your children to think and play more creatively

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is ideal for Early Years Teachers or Educators Foundation Stage Heads, Early Years Practitioners, Childminders, Home Educators and early childhood development students

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

This short video will introduce you to the different modules in the Power of Play training course, and the additional bonus materials we have created to strengthen and underpin your learning.

Section 2: The theory behind the Power of Play

Learn from different early childhood theorists what play is all about, why play is so important, and how it helps to enhance young children's learning and development from birth.

Section 3: Putting your play strategies into practice

Our first creative technique is designed to open up the imagination and, using nothing but a piece of paper and a drawing tool, build powerful bridges of communication between a child and an adult.


Our second creative technique will help you understand your children's perceptions of things, and will help your younger children articulate the ideas behind their play.


Our third playful technique explores a series of enquiry questions that are designed to facilitate, scaffold, extend and challenge children's play, and above all, transform it into something more meaningful for the child, and something that may not have happened without the support of these interventions.


Our fourth and final technique takes educators and children outside to explore ways to play using natural objects and materials. This approach will also make use of the three previous techniques, enabling you to put all your learning into practice as you go.


Here we describe how to use Earlyarts' Play Styles Observation Toolkit in a way that is easy to put into practice immediately with your children.

Section 4: Summing up the Power of Play

In revisiting the key points from this training, we hope you will take away a mindset and a toolkit bursting with ideas to help your children become more purposeful and immersed in their play.

10 questions

This quiz will help you review the learning from this course and ensure that the key principles are firmly embedded in your mind so that you can feel confident putting them into practice.

Section 5: The Power Of Play Course Resources
Power of Play Slide Handouts
11 pages
Certificate of Attendance for completion of the Power of Play course
1 page
Further Reading and Resources on Play Based Learning
2 pages

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Instructor Biography

Director Ruth Churchill Dower, Thought leader in powerful teaching & learning strategies

As Director of the award winning training network in the cultural and education sectors, Ruth Churchill Dower established Earlyarts in 2002 and scaled it up to have a national footprint in 2009. Ruth had so many calls to take her creative training further afield that, in 2013 we decided to officially become an international training company, helping early years and primary leaders to achieve the highest standards in teaching and learning by building a team of inspiring, passionate and highly skilled teachers.

Our vision over the next ten years is to enable hundreds of educators to embed creative approaches to teaching and learning, that help young children achieve outstanding results across the whole curriculum and fulfil their incredible potential.

Ruth is a prolific writer and media commentator, bringing insight and debate to key issues in creative early education through her training, writing, speaking and consultancy.

In 2009, Ruth won the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Awards for her work in building Earlyarts to make real change happen in young children’s lives. Ruth also works closely with Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley (former UK Secretary of State for Education – 2001, and Minister for the Arts – 2002) on leadership development, and with renowned educational guru, Sir Ken Robinson, both of whom are the patrons of Earlyarts.

Ruth lives in Yorkshire, UK, with her two children and spends any free time in the hills and mountains paragliding, climbing, biking, puddle-splashing and generally having as much fun with her children as possible before tea.

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