Enriching & Extending Play
Help parents find ways to encourage play-based learning at home and on the go.
Children do some of their best learning when they play. In this workshop, you’ll celebrate the importance of play and help parents brainstorm ways they can encourage play-based learning at home and on the go.
- Watch the video together with parents, then discuss ways parents remember playing when they were kids. Ask parents to talk in small groups about a cherished memory of playing. Ask: “What’s something you loved to play as a kid?” “What do you love about it?” “Why do you think this play memory has stuck with you?” Invite parents to share their memories.
Explain that as parents played as kids, they were also:
- Developing social skills (sharing, cooperation)
- Learning new vocabulary and concepts
- Practicing problem-solving skills
- Overcoming fears
- Building mental flexibility
- Learning to wait and take turns (self-control)
- Building memory
- Developing gross and fine-motor skills
- Inspiring creativity
- Then ask parents to share ways their children play on their own. Ask: “How does your child like to play?” “Where do you see her playing most?” “What does he like to play with friends?” “What does she like to play alone?” “What do they like to play with you?”
- Next brainstorm ways parents might add to the scenarios they’ve described. Choose a scenario and ask the group to think of a few ways they might discover the benefits of play by taking this even further. How might they join in? Could they add any props? Music? Stories? (Everyday materials like paper-towel tubes, boxes, oversized socks, and stuffed animals are great for inspiring play.)
“First/Then” Boards: Managing Daily Routines
A printable tool to help children know what to expect in their daily routines and activities.
Planning for Play in Daily Routines
A printable page to plan moments of playfulness during daily routines.
Provider-Parent Communications Log
A printable page to help parents and caregivers communicate about a child’s day.
Communicating with Parents and Caregivers Around Routines
An article offering strategies for communication with parents/caregivers.
Lesson Planning Practice
A tool to plan opportunities for learning connected to monthly and weekly themes.
Shaping an Engaging Learning Environment
Your space is full of opportunities for children to learn and grow!
Planning Our Days: Creating Schedules for Children
Planning ahead can help you be intentional about the learning of the children in your care!