Children learn so much through games, activities and outdoor play. Studies show that a play-based learning approach has many benefits for preschoolers. It encourages creativity and exploration and aids in the development of motor skills. We’ve rounded up some of the top play-based preschools and kindergarten programmes in Singapore that incorporate learning through play into their curriculum.
Singapore American School
Play is serious business at Singapore American School’s (SAS) early learning centre. Play and learning is how young children discover, test out ideas, practice what they’ve learned in context, and learn social skills. At SAS, they’re engaged in purposeful play and discovery throughout much of their day. This includes exploring a variety of materials through experiences like socio-dramatic play, blocks and construction, water play, and experimenting with art and sensory, and natural materials.
Also, learning isn’t confined to within classroom walls. The greater SAS campus serves as an extended learning environment for all. Students have two recess times daily to run and play on the playground and ride bikes. There’s a 1.6-acre rainforest for learning about nature and a high school robotics lab and maker space for exploring robots and engineering. Children also experience real world learning experiences through outings that connect to inquiry-based projects the class is working on. Past visits include a beach clean-up on Sentosa, exploration of the Marina Barrage and trips to the theatre for shows.
40 Woodlands Street 41
6363 3403 | sas.edu.sg
Play-based learning is central to the philosophy of Pat’s Schoolhouse; play, says the team, is a demonstration of a child’s curiosity and sense of adventure. Their preschools support learning through play – Pat’s campuses offer spacious learning environments and facilities such as large outdoor playgrounds, gardening corners, sand play areas and water play areas.
Inquiry-Embedded Play Approach revolves around planning intentional, meaningful and thought-provoking play-based learning experiences to support the holistic development of children. The preschool places a strong emphasis on a full suite of supplementary programmes including STEM, Art & Music, Speech & Drama and enrichment courses such as swimming, ballet, soccer, golf and more. This enables children to develop holistically beyond academics so they are empowered and encouraged to be challengers of the future.
Hear from a preschoolers’ parent
“I could go on for days about how impactful the school camp has been. The kids played a game of transporting paper cups while holding the end of a string, which immediately created an opportunity for teamwork and leadership skills. These are lessons and skills that cannot be imparted through textbooks and in classrooms.”
– Debbie, parent of a Kindergarten 2 child at Pat’s Schoolhouse Aroozoo
17 locations islandwide
6781 2288 | patschoolhouse.com
Mosaic Play Academy
Learning goes beyond the classroom and play-based learning is the cornerstone of creative learning at Mosaic Play Academy (MPA). Its goal is for children to develop a green mindset, equipped with fundamental skills for continued learning in the elementary years.
Through play in the Playgroups programme for children six months to six years, children discover their abilities, concepts and relationships with others, and the environment. Features of the programme include creative arts, sports, STEM, water play, phonics, cookery, nature play and plenty of outdoor play. As children explore key concepts of language, maths and science in a fun and meaningful way, they intrinsically build knowledge driven by curiosity.
The After School Programme allows older children up to 12 years to benefit from a playful learning approach that’s creative, exploratory, hands-on, fun and non-didactic. It offers indoor and outdoor play opportunities, both high and low energy. There’s a range of learning through play-based learning activities and kindergarten programmes including micro gardening, sports, drama, science experiences, maths and science Olympiad training, construction and art. The school provides plenty of opportunities for children to explore interests, apply knowledge and discover new passions.
Hear from a preschoolers’ parent
“We started taking our daughter to Mosaic Play Academy’s parent-accompanied playgroup when she was 18 months old. Besides the caring, thoughtful and creative teachers, we really like the environment. The classrooms and playrooms are always very clean and filled with plenty of natural light; our daughter loves exploring the big garden and outdoor playground. Overall, a great experience for all of us!”
– Jessica Ogilvie, Australian
402 Joo Chiat Place, The Yards
8031 2371 | 6970 2850 | mosaicplayacademy.sg
Looking for more fun activities for kids? Don’t miss our guide to preschools and kindergartens in Singapore too.