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Supporting Inquiry through Play for Young Learners

Thursday, April 16, 2020


The International Baccalaureate, our framework of inquiry-based learning at Shu Ren, has developed resources for Primary Years Programme (PYP) parents to support inquiry in the home.   

For younger children, the focus on inquiry through play includes asking open-ended and closed questions to support critical thinking and creativity.  

5 key characteristics of play

  • 1. Play is meaningful – children play to make sense of the world around them, and to find meaning in an experience by connecting it to something already known. Through play, children express and understand their understanding of their experiences.
  • 2. Play is joyful – of course, play may have its frustrations and challenges, but the overall feeling is one of enjoyment, motivation, thrill and pleasure.
  • 3. Play is actively engaging – watch children playing, and you will usually see that they become deeply involved, often coming physical, mental and verbal engagement.
  • 4. Play is iterative – play is not static. Children play to practice skills, try out possibilities, revise hypotheses and discover new challenges, leading to deeper learning.
  • 5. Play is socially interactive – play allows children to communicate ideas, to understand others through social interaction, p​aving the way to build deeper understanding and more powerful relationships.

Please click here for the full document including how to connect inquiry to play as well as a host of ideas and projects to facilitate inquiry in your home.