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At Ekidna we value the importance of PLAY in children's learning.  Brain research has shown that play helps to shape the structural design of the brain through active exploration. "Play creates a brain that has increased flexibility and improved potential for learning later in life" (Lester & Russell, 2008, p.9*). Through play children are able to 'test out' their theories of how the world around them works, to find ways of relating to others and understanding themselves.Through exploring, categorising, negotiating, taking risks and problem solving children are able to continually develop their dispositions for learning and make meaning. According to another study, "children who engage in quality play experiences are more likely to have well-developed memory skills, language development and are able to regulate their behaviour, leading to enhanced school adjustment and academic learning" (Bodrova & Leuong, 2005, *cited in EveryChild, Vol 16.No3, 2010).

"We should not forget the relevant role of make-believe play. This type of symbolic play is pervasive in young children's experience and has an important role in the social development of intelligence, the potential for children to persist in activity and conversation together, and development of the ability to create symbols" - Loris Malaguzzi

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