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Play III

Play is at the heart of a child's development, in particular, play contributes readily to a child's social-emotional development. The initial newsletter on play explored its benefits and how it can help foster a child's development. Last month's newsletter delved into how play supports early math development. This final newsletter on play explores its social-emotional dimensions and provides resources for families which can enrich the nature of their play with their children. 

The Role of Play in Any Setting 

This video, produced by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, highlights how play can foster children's resilience to hardship, and how the complex interactions involved when children play help build their brains. The video explores how play supports responsive relationships, strengthens core life skills, and can reduce sources of stress. 

10 Things Families Should Know About Play

This brief NAEYC article delves into 10 things that every parent should know about play. The author includes the following points: children learn social skills though play, play reduces stress, play and learning go hand-in-hand, and trust your own playful instincts. 

Consider encouraging students to share this article with families and start a discussion! 

Mini Learning Centers at Home

Many preschool classrooms include learning centers (for example, a writing center, a science center, a water table) where children use hands-on materials to explore, play, and learn about specific topics. This NAEYC article facilitates parents bringing the spirit of learning centers into their home with prop boxes—plastic bins or cardboard shoe boxes you fill with materials and props related to one topic, such as water play or science.

Relevant NAEYC Standards

This newsletter covered playful math which has relevance to the following NAEYC standards:
  • Standard 1 (Relationships): The program promotes positive relationships among all children and adults. 
  • Standard 2 (Curriculum): The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.
  • Standard 3 (Teaching): The program uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the curriculum goals. 
  • Standard 7 (Families): The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings.
  • Standard 9 (Physical Environment): The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. 

DEC Recommended Practices

The DEC Recommended practices includes a domain on the environment, interaction and family.

Who We Are

Early EdU for Inclusion incorporates the experiences of children with disabilities into an array of coursework. Early EdU for Inclusion is a supportive space for Washington Community and Technical College faculty to reimagine or further develop course materials related to equitable and inclusive early childhood classrooms. For more information, contact

Upcoming Events and Webinars

Helping Students See Social-Emotional Development in Action
March 16, 2023

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