The Magic of Play in Early Childhood Education

From the moment they are born, Children learn from the world around them. The development of the brain from birth to 8 years old is the biggest growth during its lifespan. The educational and learning opportunities during this time will be significant even when they are adults.


Early learning provides the skills and concepts for children to become lifelong learners. During the first few years, children learn best with hands on activities where they can explore and mimic life experiences. Play in early learning is fundamental to develop skills and experiences, exploring in a safe environment the world around them. Let’s learn more about it.


What is early learning?


Early learning or early childhood education describes the formal and informal educational programs that foster the development, growth and learning of children during their preschool years, ages 3 to 7. Early learning or early childhood education uses developmentally appropriate practices to stimulate growth in areas such as social emotional, gross and fine motor, literacy, math, language and cognitive skills.


Many of these programs use play as part of their developmentally appropriate practices, but it is so much more than just about the toys and how colorful a room is. By using play as their core, early childhood education programs or early learning programs provide rich and meaningful experiences to children for them to learn. These learning experiences can range from identifying and writing their name to how to solve age-appropriate conflicts and ask for help.

Early learning programs are considered indicators of future academic success, economic, health and education rank of a nation. Considering that 80% of the brain has developed by age 3 and 90% by age 5, early learning programs are the best choice in stimulating development. 


What are the benefits of early learning?


The goal of early learning programs and early childhood programs is to stimulate and promote the social emotional, physical, language and cognitive skills as a foundation for future learning.


Children who attend early learning programs develop competencies in:

  • Language and literacy
  • Critical thinking
  • Self-regulation
  • Confidence and self esteem
  • Persistence
  • Social Skills
  • Inquiry
  • Problem Solving
  • Math
  • Gross motor skills
  • Attention
  • Comprehension


These skills are the foundation of a lifelong learning process.


The magic of play in education.


Maria Montessori defines play as the work of the child. Play in early learning programs is essential to the development of children, especially in their cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Play is so important that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. Games such as hide and seek, building a tower with blocks, kicking a ball, painting, playing with dirt, rocks or sand are all play based activities that foster areas of development.


Learning through play begins with our primary caregivers, with something as simple as playing peek a boo, the child is learning is cause and effect. The interactions our primary caregivers have with children during their play begins to foster the foundations for self-regulation and language.


Studies on play by the Lego Foundation


The Lego Foundation reviewed over 26 studies to discover that learning through play makes it possible to progress in several areas of learning including language skills, literacy, social emotional skills and math. In their review of the studies, they also discovered learning through play can be used as a method of intervention to close learning gaps in children between the ages of 3 to 6.


From this study, the Lego Foundation has created the five characteristics of Learning through play:


  • It is joyful
  • It is meaningful
  • It is actively engaging
  • It fosters repetition
  • It promotes social interaction


How does Super Noah Super Math connect to play?

Super Noah Super Math is a Stem based card game that fosters learning through play. By creating teams and having a goal to beat the hero or the villain, Super Noah Super Math fulfills the five characteristics of play:

early childhood eduction

Joyful: Super Noah Super Math provides endless possibilities of playing with friends and family, creating a joyful experience. Joy during learning is linked to enhanced memory, attention and creativity. No more frustration or stress when adding or subtracting, when playing Super Noah Super Math, it is pure joy, fun and playful time to be had!


Meaningful: Super Noah Super Math card game provides a real-life application of basic math operations: addition and subtraction. Trying to get to your objective of 25 points or 0, using basic math skills, provide a meaningful, risk free and fun experience to what is taught at school. By having a goal that children can relate to, Super Noah Super Math creates a developmentally appropriate experience for kids to practice their math.


Actively engaging: When choosing team Vickers (heroes) your goal is to get to 25 points. When choosing Team X-Evil (villain), your goal is for the hero to have 0 points. Since you each have a goal, trying to beat the other team before they get to their goal makes it engage. Also, when adding or subtracting points, players must pay attention to the math their opponent is doing.


Foster repetition: Since both teams are adding and subtracting as soon as the other plays a card, it is constantly repeated throughout the game to add and subtract, several times until one achieves their goal.  Super Noah Super Math provides practice of math concepts through the repetition in the game. Practice makes perfect. 


Promotes social interaction: Super Noah Super Math promotes playing with others through a fun and engaging game. The options are endless of who can play this game. Also, by allowing social interaction, Super Noah Super Math helps children regulate their emotions, whether they make a mistake while adding and subtracting or losing and winning. Being able to see appropriate ways of coping with mistakes or wins and loses helps children increase their social skills.



Children begin to learn from the moment they are born. Through interactions and experiences with their primary caregivers to attending a formal early learning program, children are constantly using play as a means of learning. Early learning programs provide the foundation which stimulates children’s development in areas such as language, math, fine and gross motor, social emotional and literacy skills. The way this is achieved is through play. At Super Noah Super Math, we believe that learning happens every day, and we encourage play as a means to foster that learning.

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