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Learning through play: It's all about the process

As children develop, it is important to give them the opportunity to explore materials in an open-ended way. What does that mean? It means giving your child(ren) time and space to explore materials in a way that interests and engages them.

Here at Norwood, we believe that it is important to focus on the process of the play and experience and not the product (or end result). Like in this photo of some of our Head Start children:

Through this activity, children were developing SO many different skills.

These include:

· Social development as the children worked together to complete the task of rolling the ball through the paint.

· Physical development as they gripped the box at the side with their fine motor (small muscle) skills and as they moved their arms up and down (gross motor).

· Language development as the children communicated back and forth as they created.

· Intellectual development as they explore cause and effect (If I tilt the box this way, this is what happens).

· Creative development as they explored a new way to use paint, balls and boxes.

· Emotional development as they took pride in their work.

Look at that! Through this simple activity children were developing in all their developmental domains (or S.P.L.I.C.E) because of the focus of the process of the experience itself and not the product or that the painting look or turn out a certain way.


At Norwood Centre our team of qualified Early Childhood Development Subject Matter Experts work to provide tools that caregivers can use to support early childhood development. We hear you! If you have a question or concern, please ask us. We have a variety of Child Development Activities available on our website, including the topics of Social Development, Physical Development, Language Development, Intellectual Development, Creative Development and Emotional Development. Find them at For short-term one-on-one coaching, please call us at 780-471-3737.

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