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Designing Play-Based Learning

Explore concepts of learning through play and use play-based learning to transform the learning journeys of young children.

1,611 enrolled on this course

Learning facilitator helping children build a house out of wooden building blocks

Designing Play-Based Learning

1,611 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the value of play with Federation University

Learning through play is crucial to a child’s early development. But it can be hard to know how to create the conditions for learning experiences that are both enriching and educational.

On this two-week course from Federation University, you’ll learn how to plan and design play-based learning experiences for children in primary education.

Explore different types of play and the importance of play in primary education

You’ll start the course with an overview of play. You’ll explore concepts of learning through play and begin to understand how play can enrich the learning experiences of young children.

You’ll also look at the different types of educational experiences you can facilitate through play.

Examine play spaces and design your own learning experiences

Once you’ve explored the value of play and play-based learning, you’ll begin to design your own learning experiences.

Considering both indoor and outdoor play environments, you’ll take a skills-based approach to devising suitable learning activities. You’ll then have the opportunity to put those learning activities into practice.

By the end of the course, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of play-based learning and the skills you need to facilitate learning experiences in a number of different learning environments.


  • Week 1

    Designing Play

    • Course overview

      In this activity we welcome you to Designing Play-based Learning, giving you an overview of the course, including the learning outcomes and assessment tasks, and introduce you to our play-based learning expert - Loreen Missen.

    • It's more than play

      In this activity you will consider the importance of play in developing a range of skills, emotions, health and encouraging a general love of learning.

    • Analysing play

      Although play comes naturally to both children and adults, there are some key characteristics to rich play experience. In this activity you will learn about the nine characteristics of play, and try out some play-based activities.

    • Play activities

      In this activity you will have the opportunity to design, and participate in play-based learning experiences.

    • Summary

      In this activity we summarise the learning in the first week, and give you a short quiz to check your knowledge of the topics.

  • Week 2

    Designing Play Spaces

    • Play environments

      In this activity you will be introduced to topics to be covered in week two - Designing Play Spaces - and consider the importance of play environments in supporting play-based learning activities.

    • Indoor spaces

      In this activity you will consider the principles that go into designing or choosing an indoor play space, as well as have the opportunity to consider design choices in a play-space case study.

    • Outdoor spaces

      In this activity you will take the play-based learning activities outside, and consider the principles of designing outdoor play-based learning environments.

    • The play-based learning facilitator

      In this activity we will consider the role of the facilitator. Whether an early childhood educator, parent, friend or guardian - play-based learning in enhanced by planning.

    • Conclusion

      This activity will give you an overview of the topics covered in the course, and provide you with an opportunity to check your knowledge with a design activity and a short multiple choice assessment quiz.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Design play spaces to facilitate safe and active learning for children.
  • Develop play-based learning activities to use in the designed play spaces.
  • Practice play-based learning activities.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who interacts with young children in their personal or professional lives.

It will be particularly useful for teachers, parents, carers, school administrators, museum educators and any educator or facilitator working in informal learning environments.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

Federation University

Federation University Australia is a premium dual-sector university that has been educating the leaders, innovators and thinkers of regional Australia for over 150 years.

  • Established

  • Location

    Ballarat, Berwick, Brisbane, Gippsland, Wimmera

Ways to learn

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$79/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 3 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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