What PLAY is NOT!
Play is not ‘work’. Play is not directed or prescribed by an adult and there’s no desired outcome in play like in more ‘work-oriented’ activities. While both ‘play’ and ‘work’ can contribute to a child’s development, they are different from each other.
Recently, certain activities have been labeled as “play-based learning” when in fact they are work. For example, using a song or game to get children to differentiate between “big A” and “little a” is not play-based learning – it’s work disguised as play. (But it’s still a great idea to make learning fun by turning it into a game!)
A good way to differentiate the two is if there’s an agenda for the activity, it’s likely not true play-based learning. Your kid won’t get the same benefits they would from true play-based learning (they may get different benefits though!)