Our philosophy is based on one simple principle – children are the most important aspect of our lives. Instilling fundamental values, helping children become independent and develop into creative and imaginative people is not exclusively the job of the parents; children grow up in a complex network of relationships. Siblings, friends, care-givers, and teachers – they all have an influence on child development. In addition to the people in their life, the environment and the objects around children play a major role in their development throughout childhood. Particularly, we believe that children need well-designed toys, materials and surroundings created purposely with skills development in specific age groups in mind, toys and materials inspire imaginative play and, above all, let them have fun. In short, toys that light up their eyes and at the same time offer a sustainable source of stimulation. Not only are our ideas made in Germany, but so too are most of our wooden toys and furniture. They are produced at our own HABA facilities in the Upper Franconian city of Bad Rodach, Germany. Our ideas are rooted in Germany, as are the trees we use for our wooden products. They come from sustainably managed forests, which is why all our wooden toys carry the PEFC seal.
WHY LEARN THROUGH PLAY?
Children explore their world through play. As they play, they try out a wide range of activities, gathering knowledge about themselves, others and their surroundings. This is why toys and games are excellent tools for providing holistic support to the learning process. HABA Learning Program is a modern, holistic and research-based guide to using boardgames in teaching through play.
HABA GAMES and STEM
HABA games practice all the skills of the STEM curriculum. Games and playing utilize the skills and abilities from all STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). HABA games help young minds playfully prepare for future tasks in these areas. Following are a few of many possible examples:
Science includes knowledge and exploration of material and topics. This can be practiced, for example, in the classic game Orchard. Children learn about the topic of fruit: Where does it grow? What does an apple look like?
Technology refers primarily to computers, although vehicles and basic knowledge about how things function are also part of this field. In the game Rhino Hero, small cards are used to build a big, stable house. This only works because thin cards are made more stable by folding.
Engineering is the planning and structuring of processes. This also inclu- des sorting things. In the game Lucky Sock Dip, children are given the task of finding matching pairs from the many similar socks.
Math includes counting, arithmetic, and the arranging and recognition of patterns and logical sequences. Any game involves counting, after all what is important at the end is who has collected the most fruit, fished out the most fish or won the most points. In the game Hamster Clan you also have to abide by specific rules: first the carrots need to be harvested, then moved to the appropriate storeroom. In addition, all the players need to coordinate so that the harvest is brought in before the tree loses all its leaves.
THE EDUCATION PLAN
The HABA education plan includes all important learning areas.
WHY TEACH THROUGH PLAY?
Here you will find basic points supporting the use of HABA games in pre-school educational work. In the education plan we have assigned these points to each of the individual learning areas. These learning areas appear again in the lesson plans, so that you always have an overview of which topics, games and exercises are on the agenda.
WHAT IS HOLISTIC EDUCATION?
WHO ARE THE EXPERTS?
Anja Wrede A university-educated pedagogue and trained holistic memory coach, the freelance game author has many years of experience designing successful educational games for children. She also applies games’ teaching potential in workshops and seminars for both children and adults.
Jan-David Freund, PhD After his studies in psychology he earned his PhD in the field of developmental psychology with research on child development and the quality of institutional and home learning environments.