What do we do in early childhood education? Play-based learning is a type of early childhood education based on child-led and open-ended play. Play-based learning helps children develop social skills, motivation to learn, and even language and numeracy skills. Our classrooms in Pre-Kindergarten-second grade use a play-based focus to guide academic instruction. Our Kindergarten class recently set up a full airport, in the classroom, and learned vocabulary and life skills for flying on an airplane!