Why they are "just playing"...
When they are playing with sand, they are learning...
- Math concepts: conservation, weight distribution, volume and mass, measuring, geometry, numbers.
- Science: exploring, observing, discovering.
- Language: comparative terms, requests for information, dialogue, names for things.
- Symbolic Representation: using sand in a make-believe way to represent abstract thinking and visualization.
- Social Skills: sharing, cooperating, problem solving.
When they are playing with water, they are learning...
- Math concepts: fractions, volume, weight, equality differences, measurement.
- Science: water as a power source, water conservation, water pollution, water management, evaporation, water cycle, properties of water and objects in water.
- Language: vocabulary, phrases.
- Social Skills: manners, sharing.
- Art: food, paint color in water, mixing colors.
- Motor Skills: pouring and coordinated movement.
When they are playing with manipulatives, they are learning...
- Math Concepts: patters, ordering and sequence, number, measurement, geometry, algebra, probability, logic.
- Representation: using manipulatives to represent solutions, problems.
- Self-direction: making choices, making a plan and implementing it.
- Scientific Method: observing, making and testing predictions.
- Social Studies: using available resources for building, representing structures.
When they are engaged in dramatic play, they are learning...
- Language: changing roles, creating a script.
- Representation: using language and objects to represent situations in life.
- Problem Solving: human interaction, causing others to play cooperatively.
When they are playing with blocks, they are learning...
- Math / Science: size, shapes, weight, sorting, patterning, cause and effect.
- Reasoning Skills: problem solving, planning.
- Social Skills: cooperation, negotiation, conflict resolution.
- Literacy: symbolic representation.
When they are engaged in art, they are learning...
- Representation: using art materials to represent learning from other curricular areas.
- Creative Expression: using color, line form, texture, shape to express themselves.
- Problem Solving: using available materials to create, using "mistakes" creatively.
- Language: vocabulary, descriptive words.
- Cause and Effect: creating change.
- Task Completion: staying with a task and experiencing the feeling of satisfaction.