The Teacher Tip

Observe Children in Your Class to Understand How They Naturally Engage in Play

February 16, 2017

Adapted from Choice time by Renee Dinnerstein

To better understand how children naturally engage in different forms of play, you might observe a group of children engaged in free play over a period of time, say ten or fifteen minutes. Keep a running record of what they are doing and saying, and then try to label the different actions by the forms of play they represent: artistic, sensory, fine motor, rule-based, mastery, construction, make-believe, symbolic, or language.

  • What do you notice? Are there patterns?

  • Did one play form dominate the session?

  • Do some children seem drawn more to certain forms of play?

    To learn more about
    Choice Time and to download a sample chapter, click here

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