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Toys, Materials, Games

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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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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
Members Only
Laughing toddler
Blog
October 1, 2018

Play with Free Stuff: No Batteries Required!

There are many, many items you dispose of every day that could be perfect toys for your young child.

Authored by

Authored by: Toni Sturdivant
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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
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
child playing with blocks

At Home with Makerspaces

Whether you call them makerspaces, hackerspaces, or DIY labs, the idea is the same—they’re places where kids can tinker, invent, and build to their heart's content. They are great for fostering creativity and hands-on learning.
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Child playing with shapes
Article
Teaching Young Children
April 1, 2018

Play Games, Learn Math! Pattern Block Puzzles

Children learn about shapes by playing with them and manipulating them. The games in this article guide children’s learning as they do both.

Authored by

Authored by: Kristen E. Reed, Jessica Mercer Young
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Children playing in mud
Article
Teaching Young Children
April 1, 2018

Preschool Play Plans: Mud-Luscious Play

This is the second article in Preschool Play Plans, a TYC series. These are ideas for open-ended indoor and outdoor activities that use inexpensive or free materials—bubbles, mud, chalk, playdough, and cardboard boxes.

Authored by

Authored by: Blakely Bundy, ​Diane E. Levin, members of TRUCE
Members Only
Children in a classroom playing with playdough
Article
Teaching Young Children
December 1, 2017

Repurposing Creative Finds for Creative Minds: Thinking Outside the Box

Many early childhood programs and family child care providers are on a tight budget, but having a well-stocked, developmentally appropriate learning space doesn’t have to break the bank.

Authored by

Authored by: Lisa Mufson Bresson
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Boy counting his lego blocks
Article
Teaching Young Children
December 1, 2017

Play Games, Learn Math! Playing with Patterns

Recognizing patterns helps children make sense of the world around them and feel confident because they can predict what comes next.

Authored by

Authored by: Kristen E. Reed, Jessica Mercer Young
Members Only