Engagement - PLASP



What is engagement?

Engagement is a state of being genuinely involved and interested in something. Children learn best when they are deeply engaged in what they are doing or experiencing. A child's natural curiousity plays a big part in engagement - it leads them to explore with their bodies, minds and senses, and inspires them to ask questions, test theories, solve problems, think creatively, and make meaning of the world around them. This in turn sets solid foundations for more complex and intricate learning in later life. When children are engaged, they are more likely to get along with others and be motivated to learn, while being less likely to exprerience stress.

How do we encourage engagement at PLASP?

PLASP provides environments and experiences that engage children in active, creative and meaningful exploration, play and inquiry. Children learn best when they are fully engaged in what they are doing. By having children select activities of interest to them, it stimulates them to ask questions, engage in creative thinking, test theories and solve problems. Our staff participate as co-learners and ask questions that encourages children to think more deeply about what they are doing and stimulates their learning and curiosity. At PLASP, staff and children plan activities together based on the children’s current interests. Once children focus on an interest, it often keeps them and staff engaged for weeks. Activities include science experiments, building and creating with various materials, dramatic play or spending time in the outdoors discovering nature. Visit our Learning section for further information on Engagement and to watch our video.

What can you do to encourage engagement?

  • Let your child take part when planning activities. Instead of picking themes for activities yourself, identify your child's interests, and work with your child to plan activities based on those interests.
  • Provide clutter-free space for play at home, with open-ended materials (objects that can be used in many ways, like building blocks, construction paper, ribbons). Consider limiting closed-ended materials (stencils, colouring books, connect-the-dots puzzles).
  • Keep the learning environment calm for infants and toddlers by limiting interruptions and transition times between activities. For older children, allow large blocks of time for them to explore and engage in activities.

For more information on well-being and how learning happens, please visit the Ministry of Education's PDF document How Does Learning Happen?.

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