With schools closed families have the chance to follow their children’s lead and to give them opportunities to learn through play, rather than formal structured study. Paul Ramchandani, LEGO Professor of Play at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, says that unstructured play is essential for young children, and learning at home does not have to follow the strict timetable of school. Instead, different types of play allow children to explore the world, to understand consequences and learn how relationships work. It is this free type of play that is fundamental to early years’ development, rather than sitting for long periods in lessons. He says that parents should not worry about the type of play as “children will learn and enjoy different things from different kinds of play”, but to focus on being mindful to what their child is doing and to be responsive to what they are trying to communicate. This, he says, is the key to supporting young children’s learning and social and emotional development. Read more here.