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Play is an important part of children's learning and development. Find articles on how to intentionally connect play and learning, ideas to share with families, and the latest research about learning and play.

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Father and daughter doing math activities
Article
Teaching Young Children
December 1, 2018

(Message in a Backpack™ Fun, Easy Ways to Play with Math at Home) رسالة في حقيبة الظهر™ - طرق مسلية وسهلة للعب بالرياضيات في المنزل

NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

Authored by

Authored by: Jessica Mercer Young, Kristen E. Reed
Members Only
Two children playing outside
Article
Teaching Young Children
April 1, 2019

(Message in a Backpack™: Going Beyond the Playground: Math, Science, and Outdoor Fun) رسالة في حقيبة الظهر™ - ما بعد الملعب: الرياضيات والعلم والمرح في الخارج

NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

Authored by

Authored by: Rachel J. Franz
Members Only
Teacher with preschool children
Article
Teaching Young Children
April 1, 2020

Message in a Backpack ™ Nature Play with Sensitive Children

What happens when your child is sensitive to touching natural objects? Use these ideas to spark indoor and outdoor nature play.

Authored by

Authored by: Becky L. DelVecchio, Susan Ferguson
Members Only
serious fun arabic e-book cover

(E-Book) المرح الجاد: كيف يزيد اللعب الموجه فرص التعلم لدى الأطفال

الفضول الفطري والتخيل الديناميكي لدى الأطفال يقودهم إلى فرص تعلم مثيرة ومفيدة. اكتشف كيفية تقديم تجارب اللعب الموجه إلى جانب اللعب التلقائي لدعم معرفة الأطفال في المجالات الرئيسية واكتساب متعة لا تنجلي لعملية التعلم. هذا الكتاب ممتاز وذو مزايا عضوية قياسي
Members Only
Toddler playing at a table
Article
Voices of Practitioners
December 17, 2019

Searching for the Meaning of Play

Vivian’s desire to create space for stories, her ability to listen fully and her longing to elevate, illuminate and understand children’s play all continue to push me to be a better teacher. 

Authored by

Authored by: Todd Erickson
Members Only
Toddlers playing in a classroom on the floor, sitting with three teachers
Article
Voices of Practitioners
December 17, 2019

Parallel Voices Commentary—Reframing Teachers’ Understandings of Conflicted Play

Christopher’s work can help us replace a deficit view of difficulty with a more trusting approach to children as they work through the challenges that serve their current developmental and relationship growth (Madrid, Fernie, & Kantor 2015).

Authored by

Authored by: Robyn Brookshire
Members Only
Preschool boy playing with blocks and a toy car on the floor

I'm Not Ready to Tidy Up

So what is a parent to do when they have a room full of playthings and a child who is not interested in picking any of it up? Here are five tips I’ve gathered from my career as an early childhood educator and my experience as a mom
Members Only
A person typing at a keyboard
Article
Teaching Young Children
December 1, 2019

Ask Hello. Supporting Culturally Rich Play

In a recent Hello discussion, a member sought input on culturally rich dramatic play and how to avoid materials that reinforce stereotypes.
Members Only
Cover of the December/January issue of TYC
Issue
Teaching Young Children
Vol. 13, No. 2
December 1, 2019

December 2019/January 2020

Valuing Diversity; Nurturing Curiosity
Read the December/January issue of Teaching Young Children!
Members Only
Cover of This Is Play: Environments and Interactions that Engage Infants and Toddlers
Book
January 1, 2019

This Is Play: Environments and Interactions that Engage Infants and Toddlers

With its spot-on ideas and suggestions, delightful anecdotes, and engaging photos, you’ll gain a new appreciation for infants’ and toddlers’ competence and curiosity and how important your role is in the birth-to-3 adventure.

Authored by

Authored by: Julia Luckenbill, Aarti Subramaniam, Janet Thompson
Members Only
Two young girls at the lake scooping water into buckets
Blog
August 6, 2019

Gone Fishing

I think about being a parent and a teacher and observing children. Even experts can forget that there is a time to model and guide, and also a time to give space for the kind of learning that happens with uninterrupted play and exploration.

Authored by

Authored by: Julia Luckenbill
Members Only
Three children looking at leaves
Blog
August 6, 2019

Connecting our Nature Walks to the Classroom

If the environment is the third teacher, there is no better classroom environment than the outdoors. I use our experiences and my notes and pictures as inspiration for our curriculum.

Authored by

Authored by: Daniela Silver
Members Only