The value of play

By Dr Luke Touhill



National Quality Standard
QA1Educational program and practice
QA5Relationships with children
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
1Know students and how they learn
2Know the content and how to teach it
3Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments


Dr Luke Touhill
Luke Touhill has worked in early childhood education for over 20 years as a teacher, director, manager, trainer and lecturer.


Play offers children opportunities to engage with the world around them. Being intrinsically motivated and freely chosen, it allows children control over their actions and their learning. Play also helps children develop their self-regulation and problem-solving capacity, and it enriches their vocabulary and language skills.

Today, nearly 200 years after Froebel first argued for its importance in children’s lives, play remains an essential part of effective early childhood learning. This is reflected in the Early Years Learning Framework when it describes play as a ‘context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they actively engage with people, objects and representations’.


This course will examine:

  • what play is and why it is important in early childhood
  • how significant play is for children’s learning and development
  • the role of educators in supporting effective play-based learning
  • how educators can balance intentional teaching with play-based approaches in a variety of early childhood settings
  • the characteristics of play as well as the many aspects of play to be considered and planned for
  • how to develop an argument in support of play-based programs.


Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes