Preschoolers at Play
Choosing the Right Stuff for Learning and Development
Lisa Mufson Bresson, Megan King
- NAEYC publishes research-based; peer-reviewed books for early childhood educators.
- The topic of materials to include in the classroom impacts every teacher and the information will guide teachers to consider how specific materials help foster children’s learning and development in specific domains.
- Explains the critical role that play materials (that is, classic toys like balls, dolls, and blocks as well as other resources that support play like paint, swings, boxes, and mirror) have in enhancing children’s learning and development. As part of this, it goes into why selecting the quote “right stuff” matters and what the teacher’s role is in choosing these play materials.
- Emphasizes incorporating child-directed interests and activities into the classroom and how to provide materials that inspire hands-on, exploratory learning to help children go from concrete thinking to more abstract thinking.
- While these books explore a wide range of play materials, they also help teachers see how a little can go a long way and inspire them to see the deeper learning potential each play material has. For example, a ball can not only help children’s physical development (big muscles and coordination), it can be the object of a math inquiry (such as measuring its circumference with yarn or a measuring tape) or a science inquiry (like observing if it rolls down a ramp faster or slower depending on how they set the incline.)