Play

Young girl smiling

You are here

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.

Most Recent

Child playing with recyclable materials with teacher
Blog
November 5, 2018

What’s Play All About? Children’s Museums Weigh In

As members of the Children’s Museum Research Network, we helped conduct a study to examine how children’s museums position themselves around play.

Authored by

Authored by: Nicole R. Rivera, Alix Tonsgard
Members Only
Early childhood educators gathering in the Kindergarten Creator Space
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2018

Inquiry Is Play: Playful Participatory Research (Voices)

This online version includes an additional reflection from the authors showing how the defining elements of PPR transform participatory research into a vehicle for shared learning for teachers and children alike.

Authored by

Authored by: Megina Baker, Gabriela Salas Davila
Members Only
Teacher and two students observing pigeons
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2018

From Puddles to Pigeons: Learning about Nature in Cities

Parents, educators, and other primary caregivers might not realize that a small patch of grass, a single tree, and a walk to the store are opportunities to observe nature, generate questions, and conduct experiments to find answers.

Authored by

Authored by: Marion Goldstein, Lisa Famularo, Jamie Kynn
Members Only
Three children sitting on a rock in the woods
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2018

Big Questions in the Great Outdoors

Mr. Joe has set the stage for ongoing learning opportunities by creating a weekly routine that focuses on the children’s in-depth study of Todd, the adopted oak tree.

Authored by

Authored by: Sue Mankiw, Janis Strasser, Lisa Mufson Bresson
Members Only
Children looking through magnetic glass in a field
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2018

A World of Learning

This article will help early childhood educators embed in their instructional plans outdoor learning opportunities that support the whole child. The accompanying examples are based on the authors’ experiences earlier in their careers.

Authored by

Authored by: Alicia W. Deaver, Lindsay E. Wright
Members Only
Child looking out window with binoculars
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2018

Capturing Nature’s Beauty through Multiple Lenses

It began with just the spark of an idea—to construct an outdoor classroom—and ultimately led to using photography as an instructional anchor to explore and capture nature’s beauty, and beyond.

Authored by

Authored by: Karen Capraro, Lorraine Downes, John Diego Arango
Members Only
Child's abstract artwork
Article
Young Children
November 1, 2018

A Natural Choice: Learning Outdoors

Whether you are in a large city or rural community, these articles are filled with ways to help children experience the wonders of nature.

Authored by

Authored by: Lisa Hansel
Members Only
YC November 2018 Issue Cover
Issue
Young Children
Vol. 73, No. 5
November 1, 2018

November 2018

A Natural Choice: Learning Outdoors
YC November 2018 Issue
Members Only
child's hands kneading playdough
Article
Teaching Young Children
October 1, 2018

Preschool Play Plans: Playdough

Playdough is a fun, easy, budget-friendly material for helping children work on math and literacy skills and get creative.

Authored by

Authored by: Blakely Bundy, ​Diane E. Levin, members of TRUCE
Members Only
Colorful swings
Article
Teaching Young Children
August 1, 2018

Message in a Backpack™ Things Every Parent Should Know about Play

Play supports children’s learning in so many ways. Make sure your child has time to play to promote cognitive, language and literacy, physical, social, and emotional development.

Authored by

Authored by: Laurel Bongiorno
Members Only
Child pretending to be a firefighter in a cardboard firetruck
Article
Teaching Young Children
August 1, 2018

Talking with Parents about Play and Learning

We can help families understand why play is critical for preschoolers’ learning and development—and how play sets children up for future school success.

Authored by

Authored by: Laurel Bongiorno
Members Only
Children playing with chalk outdoors
Article
Teaching Young Children
August 1, 2018

Preschool Play Plans: Chalk Play

This is the third article in Preschool Play Plans, a TYC series. This installment focuses on different ways to play with chalk.

Authored by

Authored by: Blakely Bundy, ​Diane E. Levin, members of TRUCE
Members Only
Boy playing in sand table
Blog
July 18, 2018

The Importance of Sand and Water Play

The sand table and the water table can be two of the most popular areas of the classroom for young children, but it is important to remember that these areas are essential to the classroom for higher-level learning. 

Authored by

Authored by: Sarah Vanover
Members Only
Children playing in play centers at a library
Article
Young Children
July 1, 2018

Public Libraries Harness the Power of Play

Thanks to a nationwide parent education initiative called Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR), an increasing number of librarians are focusing on helping parents interact with their young children in meaningful ways to increase vocabulary development.

Authored by

Authored by: Donna C. Celano, Jillian J. Knapczyk, Susan B. Neuman
Members Only