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Topic: Play
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Play is the cornerstone of learning for young children. Their natural curiosity about the world around them leads them to explore and apply what they learn in new situations. It is through play that children acquire the learning dispositions such as of creativity, curiosity, flexibility, persistence, attention and critical thinking skills.

National Best & Emerging Practices


Learn more about the benefits of play in different developmental areas. Then check out some of the suggestions for activities

Published by The Genius of Play


Driven to Discover: How Thinking Skills Develop Through Everyday Play and Exploration

 Learn how everyday play and exploration support the development of thinking skills in young children by viewing this 4 minute video

Published by ZerotoThree

Local Best & Emerging Practices


This three minute video describes Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science (LASErS') workshop that gives family childcare providers the training and tools needed to teach science in their home centers.

A project of Education Development Center (EDC)

Online Professional Development/Webinars


Check out this amazing TED Talk which brings into perspective the powerful processes  that take place in the early years as children learn through play and experience .(18 minutes)

Published by Alison Gopnik



Describes the role of play and active engagement in the development of children's thinking and early literacy skills.
Published by Susan Neuman and Kathleen Roskos 
Other Related Resources


This five minute video provides a research based overview of the importance of play and how play supports children’s early literacy and cognitive skills,and suggests strategies that facilitate more complex play.

Published by:  The Center for Early Childhood Education; Eastern Connecticut State University


This article suggests practical ways to maintain a balance of standards and child centered learning, with strategies for teaching math skills in an intentional, carefully planned manner using embedded classroom experiences.

Published by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)


This five minute video describes how experience builds brain architecture, and highlights the importance of adult interaction in developing healthy brain circuitry.

Published by Center on the Developing Child Harvard Education


Even the simplest interactions encourage young children to learn and explore the world around them
Published by ZerotoThree


Explore the role of adults  in scaffolding learning in an intentional way by following  children’s interests through guided play.

Published by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)



A guide to child-led play and its importance for thinking and learning
Commissioned by ATL from Di Chilvers



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