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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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A classroom of children playing with wooden blocks
Article
Young Children
May 1, 2020

STREAM Education at Work—No, at Play! A Toy-Making Unit

Early achievement in math and science predicts later school success as well or better than early literacy skills do.

Authored by

Authored by: Douglas H. Clements, Julie Sarama, Kimberly Brenneman, Nell K. Duke, Mary Louise Hemmeter
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young girl putting together a 3D block puzzles using blocks
Article
Young Children
May 1, 2020

Learning Engineering through Block Play: STEM in Preschool

In recent years, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been increasingly emphasized for elementary-age children, and this trend should extend into preschool too. Blocks—a fundamental material found in almost all early childhood se

Authored by

Authored by: Zachary S. Gold, James Elicker, Barbara A. Beaulieu
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A young boy in a classroom taping an image to block.
Article
Young Children
May 1, 2020

Transforming Our Community with STEAM

The preschool bucket brigade took place four weeks into an intensive study surrounding the unit Our Community. While this topic is very common in preschools, for these teachers, this community unit was almost all new. This was their first experience with

Authored by

Authored by: Lea Ann Christenson, Jenny James
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Girl with mud on hands
Article
Young Children
May 1, 2019

Rocking and Rolling. Fresh Air, Fun, and Exploration: Why Outdoor Play Is Essential for Healthy Developmentالهواء النقي والمتعة والاستكشاف: أهمية اللعب الخارجي في التطور الصحي للأطفال

Ensuring that outdoor play is an integral part of your child care and education setting’s daily schedule supports early learning across all domains and unleashes a whole lot of joy—for you and for children!

Authored by

Authored by: Kathy Kinsner
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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