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  1. PLAY: Incorporating Play In Early Childhood Education Environments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-h4IHIqkcc&feature=channel

  2. What Does It Mean To “Play”? • No one definition of play – How many different ways can the word play be used? • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/play • Varieties of play are endless – What are some of the varieties of play? • http://primaryschool.suite101.com/article.cfm/kids_play_to_learn • Different types of play – onlooker, solitary, parallel, associative, functional, constructive, dramatic, cooperative, competitive, games with rules (Crowther, 2007)

  3. Play: Is It Meaningful? • Children are naturally curious through play • Foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and life • Fosters creativity, flexibility in thinking, communication skills, social problem solving skills, etc. • Leads to feelings of competence and self-confidence • So, is play meaningful? OF COURSE IT IS!!! (Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre, 2006)

  4. How Can We Create Opportunities For Play? • Articulate the learning outcomes of play – social, emotional, cognitive, creative and physical • Hands-on, concrete materials that encourage exploration, discovery, manipulation, and active engagement • Time needed for exploration and discovery in uninterrupted play • Interact with children to enhance learning • Early childhood educators can become co-players and provide new experiences • Spontaneous free play and structured play-based experiences are important • Remember the different types of play – those that appear to be not engaged may actually be involved in onlooker play (Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre, 2006)

  5. Let’s Not Lose The Ability To Play! • Changing physical and social environments • “In a world where standards and grades are given top priority, the importance of play often falls by the wayside.” (Hebert, 2006) • “According to the Survey on Canadian Attitudes toward Learning, Canadian parents believe that playing is more important than organized lessons for preschoolers; however, more and more parents are enrolling their very young children in lessons and other structured activities.” (Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre, 2006) • http://www.ipacanada.org/children.html • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktz_28vP_Jo&feature=related

  6. Sand Play • 4 pails • 4 shovels • Leaves • Marbles • Seashells • Rocks • Milk bones • Puppy with a problem

  7. Oodles Of Learning... • Cognitive/Intellectual Development - counting - What happens if I break the bones? & sorting – “Is it okay for a dog to chew marbles?”, “But my dog eats leaves!” • Social Development – responsibility, respect, sharing – “I can’t find anymore!” • Sensory & Explorative– seeing/observing, digging & feeling for objects, listening to seashells & other sounds - Hmmm...what else can we do with the sand? – build sand castles and hills!

  8. Playing with St.Bernadette

  9. Exploration Healthy Bodies Art Literacy 5 Senses Numeracy (Math)

  10. Putting play into action

  11. References • Crowther, I. (2007). Creating Effective Learning Environments 2nd ed. Nelson: Ontario. • Dictionary.com, LLC. (2010). Play. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/play • Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre. (November 8, 2006). Let the children play: Nature’s answer to early learning.Canadian Council on Learning. Retrieved from http://www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL/Reports/LessonsInLearning/LinL20061010LearninPlay.htm • Hebert, J.L. (December 20, 2006). Kids Play To Learn: Parents and teachers can help kids learn by helping kids play. Suite 101. Retrieved from http://primaryschool.suite101.com/article.cfm/kids_play_to_learn • International Play Association (IPA). (1973). Promoting the Child’s Right to Play. Retrieved from http://www.ipacanada.org/children.html