Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Playful Learning

Playful Learning

Spring 2010 Website
Ages: 3 & Up
Producer: Mariah Bruehl
Publisher: Playful Learning
When first visiting Playful Learning, it appears to be a simple, homemade website with some ideas for doing things with your kids. However, it quickly becomes clear that this soft-spoken beautifully designed site is a tantalizing resource loaded with truly fun ideas for teaching young children about math, science, writing and more. The site's founder, Mariah Bruehl, an educator and mother of two young daughters, describes her activities as "playful learning experiences." Bruehl draws her influence from a variety of philosophical and research-based teaching methods including the Reggio Emilia Approach, Teaching for Understanding, Constructivism, and Maria Montessori.

There are nine categories of playful learning experiences that include foundation skills (reading, writing and math), well-being (social, emotional and physical), seasonal activities and ideas for creating playful spaces. Each activity incorporates photographs of products used, including photographs or video of Mariah's own children at work on the activities, and links to to purchase the items pictured. The website also offers an extensive resources page categorized by learning experiences and a store to purchase items such as books, toys and art supplies.

Although some "learning experiences" are simply links to other websites to which Mariah has contributed or those that she has recommended as resources, what makes Playful Learning impressive is the collection and organization of so many unique, fun and educational activities to do with your kids. So many websites boast great ideas but offer very little substance; Playful Learning is a breath of fresh air and one we will return to frequently for new ideas for at-home learning.

Jessica Hensley   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Jessica Hensley is a web designer, yoga and fitness enthusiast and proud mother of two very active young boys. She has been working with family and educational websites for over 12 years.

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