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Books to Get the Most Out of Play in Your Classroom

May 4th, 2022 | 2 min. read

By Staff Writer

Play is foundational to children's learning and development. It comes in many forms: object play, construction play, pretend play, rough and tumble play, games with rules, and often some combination of all of these at once! It may be solitary or social. Also, it can be freely chosen by and governed by children or guided by an adult. In this list you'll find books to inspire your plans to incorporate play in its many forms in your classroom.

Playful Activities for Reading Readiness: Laying a Foundation for Literacy

Learning to read can—and should—be fun! Full of hands-on, use-tomorrow activities, ideas for extended practice in centers, literacy connections, and real-life classroom examples, Playful Activities for Reading Readiness will help pre-K and kindergarten teachers provide children a firm literacy foundation.

The Possibilities of Play: Imaginative Learning Centers for Children

In The Possibilities of Play, Dr. Jean, beloved author of dozens of books and songs, and coauthor Carolyn Kisloski bring you a collection of practical ideas and tips to inspire engagement and spark learning in your classroom centers—and, importantly, keep children coming back for more. Discover how you can help your children thrive in learning centers.

Planning for Play: Strategies for Guiding Preschool Learning

Planning for Play helps educators understand the different types of play and the rich opportunities offered through carefully planned time and environments designed for valuable pre-K play experiences. Learn how to get the most out of the play in your classroom.

Thrifty Teacher's Guide to Creative Learning Centers

The Thrifty Teacher's Guide to Creative Learning Centers vividly describes the unique ways teachers can use found and recyclable materials to encourage cognitive development and creative exploration in young children.

Treasure Basket Explorations: Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers

In Treasure Basket Explorations, teachers and caregivers of infants and toddlers will learn how these simple explorations support cognitive and vocabulary development. Grounded in the theory of early education pioneer Elinor Goldschmied, the book explains heuristic learning--discovery by trial and error--and how to encourage this type of learning to boost development.

Play Today: Building the Young Brain through Creative Expression

Play Today shows you how to get the most out of children's playtime with thoughtful preparation, then stepping back and letting creativity and learning begin. With some simple props and donated items, you can transform your centers into rich and rewarding learning spaces for the children in your classroom.

STEM Play: Integrating Inquiry into Learning Centers

STEM Play offers valuable ideas for materials and lessons to use during learning center time. By giving children fun challenges that involve inquiry, imagination, planning, creating, and reflection, you just might find that their learning expands to exponential proportions. Give them the tools and let them play!


Story Play: Building Language and Literacy One Story at a Time

Story Play encourages even the most inexperienced teacher, librarian, child care professional, or family member to become a storyteller with ideas for expanding stories into meaningful learning experiences.

Squish, Sort, Paint & Build: Over 200 Easy Learning Center Activities

Squish, Sort, Paint & Build is filled with ideas for enriching classroom learning centers with lively, fun activities designed to stimulate exciting learning for your children.