Experiential learning can be defined as children learning through exploring, experiencing, creating, discovering, relating to and interacting with the world around them. Children are learning through following ideas, taking on something that they have experienced, changing it and adapting it to suit an alternative idea. Experiential learning can occur via activities such as playing outdoors, imaginative or pretend play, creative expression through art, music and dance, exploration of nature and the child’s surrounding environment.
Experiencing the world supports children developing as creative thinkers. They develop a sense of achievement and improved confidence. Some of our children are beginning to demonstrate this through their play and the choices they are making.
Last week, children were taking on ideas from teacher-led activities and creating new experiences. Some were playing with water, investigating pouring, filling and emptying, whilst incorporating counting in 2’s and 5’s. Others were creating their own building sites, making houses with bricks, setting cones and tape to mark the building site. Whilst some took on cooking, making imaginary cupcakes, copying things they have seen at home. They were investigating milk and colour mixing, asking questions “What if…?” “What next…?” “Why…?” “How…?” “If …?” and investigating and exploring how things change, asking questions and finding the answers. It is the thinking and ideas which develop our children as learners, encouraging children to ask questions encourages them to think and build on their enquiry skills. However, experiential learning not only takes place in the classroom environment but beyond it, at home, on holiday or at weekends.