How to encourage children to lead their own learning [Webinar]

In this webinar we were joined by Tom Hobson, also known as Teacher Tom, from Teacher Tom’s World! Tom joined us to discuss effective play based learning in early childhood education and how we can encourage children to be leaders in their own learning. As play based learning rises in popularity among early learning centers, Tom shared strategies and real life examples of the benefits of play based learning and how to properly create play based learning experiences. You will leave this webinar with a deeper understanding of how children learn through play, and how to encourage the children in your care to be curious, self-motivated and independent thinkers. Keep reading to download and watch the webinar recording!

🎤Our Special Guests:

Tom Hobson – CEO & Founder of Teacher Tom’s World

Tom “Teacher Tom” Hobson is an early childhood educator, international speaker, education consultant, teacher of teachers, parent educator, and author. He is best known, however, for his namesake Teacher Tom’s Blog where he has posted daily for over a decade, chronicling the life and times of his little preschool in the rain soaked Pacific Northwest corner of the US. For nearly two decades he was the sole employee of the Woodland Park Cooperative School, a parent-owned and operated school, knit together by Teacher Tom’s democratic, progressive, play-based pedagogy. He has authored two bestselling books, consults with organizations about his “Family Schools program,” and inspires early years audiences around the world at major ECE conferences, both virtually and in-person. He also shares his approach through online e-courses for early childhood educators and parents. In 2021 he started producing his epic annual TeacherTom’s Play Summit conference to virtually inspire and embolden early childhood educators, parents, and grandparents in more than 100 counties. 

🧪Key Learning Outcomes from Teacher Tom!

  • In order to provide the children in our care with an authentic childhood, we need to honour their need for play and learning through play-based activities. Children need to be given the opportunity to play without interference.
  • Authentic play means there is no direct instruction from the educator, we let children engage with the environment based on their own interests.
  • Effective play based learning means we give children the space to ask and answer their own questions.
  • Play is how children teach themselves and begin to discover who they are. As educators, we play a critical role in setting children up for success through play based learning.
  • As educators, we need to learn how to foster, guide and support children in their learning journey without taking control of their play.
  • Through play based learning we can enable children to be curious, self-motivated and active agents in their own lives.


📅What’s Next on HiMama Helps?

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Maddie Hutchison

Maddie is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a Master's in Early Childhood Studies. Her specialty is in Children's Rights and she is currently a Content Strategist for HiMama!

One comment

  • Great! Thank you for sharing. These tips are very helpful and it will help me a lot. There were times when I was really worried when I heard my children play and was afraid that it would affect a lot of learning. But now I understand and I will facilitate and respect the child’s need to play.