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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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Teacher observes as child paints artwork
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2019

A Guided, Exploration-Based Visual Arts Program for Preschoolers

This article describes a program that combines exploratory art experiences with intentional teaching moments and offers suggestions for how teachers can organize their own programs.

Authored by

Authored by: X. Christine Wang, Keely Benson, Corinne Eggleston, Bin Lin
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two teachers with young child

Serious Fun! Online Module

Serious Fun! is an online module that highlights the importance of, and difference between guided play and free play.
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Young girl on her mother's back outside

Summer Learning

This summer, discover learning activities for the classroom and explore resources to add to your teaching toolbox and enhance your professional development.
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Three girls playing in leaves
Blog
February 6, 2019

Nature-Based Mindfulness for More Calm & Peaceful Kids

As children explore and observe nature, they become more aware of, and empathetic to, the plants and animals who share the natural world. Try these nature-based mindful activities indoors or outdoors with your tots!

Authored by

Authored by: Monica Wiedel-Lubinski
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children with building materials
Article
Teaching Young Children
February 1, 2019

Start StoryMaking to Join the Maker Movement

StoryMaking is a fun and easy way to introduce the maker movement to early learners.

Authored by

Authored by: Robin Chappele Thompson, Michelle Compton
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Mud kitchen materials in outside patio
Article
Teaching Young Children
February 1, 2019

Getting the Most out of Your Mud Kitchen

Read our top tips for getting the most out of mud play in your setting.

Authored by

Authored by: Claire Martin
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Child playing with rocks
Blog
January 2, 2019

Spotlight on Games—Kindness Rocks!

As early childhood educators, we often have stories to tell about our own children as we play and learn with them at home. Here is a story from Julia Luckenbill about her family’s experiences with a rock hiding and finding activity.

Authored by

Authored by: Julia Luckenbill
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Two children playing with boxes
Article
Teaching Young Children
December 1, 2018

Preschool Play Plans: Creativity with Cardboard

These are ideas for open-ended indoor and outdoor activities that use inexpensive or free materials—bubbles, mud, chalk, playdough, and cardboard boxes. The activities are appropriate for preschoolers of all abilities.

Authored by

Authored by: Blakely Bundy, ​Diane E. Levin, members of TRUCE
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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
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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
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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
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