Play Tips

  • Get down on the children’s level and join in their play occasionally.
  • Respond to their play with encouragement as a way to help them take pride in their play and motivate them to play more.
  • Observe children and listen quietly as they play. Notice their likes, dislikes and interests. Pay attention to toys and materials that encourage use of the imagination.
  • Allow children plenty of time and opportunities for both free and directed play.
  • Respect that children have their own unique and individual styles and approaches to learning and playing.
  • Allow children plenty of room for safe exploration and play with limited restrictions.
  • Provide a variety of interesting and safe materials and activities ranging from simple to complex: toys, art and writing supplies, books, musical instruments, dress-up clothes, puzzles, games.
  • Play materials need to be developmentally appropriate (interesting and challenging but not too difficult).
  • Avoid over stimulating children, particularly infants. Infants will signal when they have had enough stimulation by crying or looking away.
  • Provide space for children to play quietly and privately away from noisier activities.
  • Encourage children to talk about what they are doing and how they feel. Introduce new words to expand their vocabulary.