“Want to play?” These are magical words to children. An invitation to play is welcoming, inclusive, and suggests that fun is about to happen. Children learn through play, creating and re-creating what they know and what they imagine. This is their language for understanding the world. Through play, children learn problem-solving skills and test out ideas […]
Early childhood education authors and experts share ideas, videos, tools, theories and best practices for creating successful learning environments and outcomes for young children.
Play, especially messy play, is often under appreciated in children’s learning. This is particularly true when it comes to playing with mud. Adults focus on the mess (and associated cleanup) and seem to miss the rich learning. Yes, the play is messy but there are so many learning opportunities – particularly related to science. Science […]
When we start to embrace child-driven, play-based learning, we have to ask: what are the adults supposed to do? If we are offering children open-ended materials and letting them run with imagination and experimentation, do we just walk away? Do we play with them? When kids are engaged with their own explorations, there is a certain freedom […]
Young children are always at play. Their minds and bodies are wired to explore their world, no matter the location or context. In and around the home, where they feel comfortable and safe, a child can let their mind wander and follow playful, curious paths. One way we, as adults, can support them is with […]
It is so important that children get outside to play. When children step outdoors their senses activate and they experience the world in a heightened state—seemingly more excited and dramatic than our seasoned adult sensations in the outside world. Many of us have forgotten the beauty of the sound of rain and the smell of an incoming […]
Experts say that pretend play is a natural way for growing children to learn and develop and that parents should encourage this type of imaginative expression. Whether it’s with a pair of fairy wings, a doctor’s stethoscope, a sparkly scarf or a silly hat, children live out their creative fantasies during dramatic playtime. We all […]