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When I Play I Learn

A child learns through play-in all ways, a truth adults do not always understand. David Elkind,says of play: "Young children learn best by playing and following their own curiousities, by solving real problems, such as how to balance a stack of blocks, or how to negotiate a zipper, put together a picture puzzle and most of all, by making mistakes and trying again.

Here are some examples of what we do throughout the day here at BBLC and how they are crucial to your child's development while being fun and developmentally appropriate.

When I easel paint I learn:

To develop my imagination and creativity.

To develop eye-hand coordination.

To distinguish and purposely create shapes.

To express my feelings and ideas.

That my ideas have values.

Relationships of space and size.

Concepts of symmetry, balance, and design.

When I finger paint I learn:

To exercise my imagination and creativity.

About how colors mix to make new colors.

Concepts of shape, size, and location.

An acceptable way to make a mess and have fun sharing ideas with others.

Eye-hand coordination.

When I scribble and draw I learn:

To hold a pencil or other drawing implement and to control the pressure.

To express myself with words when describing my drawing.

That my ideas have value.

Concepts of color, shape, size, and location.

To exercise my creativity and imagination.

Eye-hand coordination.

The basic strokes of the printed language.

When I glue and collage I learn:

About different textures.

How to create patterns and designs.

To distinguish patterns from a background.

Concepts of shape, size, location, and design, which is relevant to reading.

To exercise my imagination and creativity.

When I look at objects at a nature table I learn:

New vocabulary.

Concepts of texture, color, weight, and size.

To group objects into categories.

To observe likeness and differences.

To appreciate nature and develop a sense of wonder.

When I look at books and listen to stories I learn:

That books are important and enjoyable.

That print is written down word.

To express my own, thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

To handle books with care.

To follow the development of thoughts, feelings, and ideas in the plot of the story.

That I like books and someday I'd like to be able to read them too, when I'm ready.

To recognize certain words when I see them in print.

To use more complex patterns in my own speech.

To use my imagination and make up my own stories.

When I play with blocks, cars, and trucks I learn:

Concepts of shape, size, length, and location.

To create and repeat patterns.

To exercise imagination.

To express ideas and exercise imagination.

To cooperate with others.

About the properties of wood.

To see myself from a different perspective.

When I play on climbing equipment I learn:

Physical strength, coordination, and balance.

To use my imagination.

To cooperate with others when involved in group play.

Self confidence as I develop new skills.

To solve problems.

When I play with sand I learn:

To exercise my imagination.

How to use tools.

To solve problems.

How to play socially with others.

Concepts of size, shape,and volume.

Concepts of warm and cool, wet, damp, dry, heavy, light.

To create systems of classifying, ordering and arranging.

To observe changes.

When I sort things I learn:

To notice details, likeness, differences, and to form categories.

Concepts of color, size, and shape.

Numerical concepts of more or less.

Logical reasoning.

When I string beads I learn:

To create and reproduce patterns.

Pride in accomplishment.

Number concepts like more, less, longer and shorter.

Concepts of color, shape, and location.

Eye-hand coordination.

When I play with pegboards I learn:

One to one correspondance, concepts of addition.

To make and repeat patterns.

Possible left to right progression.

Symmetry, shapes, order, and design.

Eye-hand coordination.


When I participate in group time I learn:

To listen and understand spoken words.

That my ideas have value to the other children and the teacher.

To wait my turn when others are talking.

New vocabulary words.

To help plan what we will do and when we will do it.

The names of others in the group.

To remember the words of songs and poems I have learned and to put things in proper order.

To cooperate and be considerate of the needs of others.

When I do cooking projects I learn:

About nutrition, tastes, and food groups.

How heat and cold change things.

Whole-part relationships and concepts of volumes and measures.


Awareness of my own and other cultures.

When I play in the family living area I learn:

To be flexible in my thinking.

To express myself with my words.

To try on different adult roles.

To solve social problems through negotiation with friends.

To sort and organize play things.

To make decisions.

To improvise and use things in symbolic way.

To have an object represent something else.

To carry out my ideas with cooperation of others.

To exercise my imagination and creativity.

When I play with riding toys I learn:

Strength, balance,and large muscle coordination.

To use my energy in a constructive way.

Concepts of speed, direction, and location.

To use my imagination.

To negotiate and take turns.

To solve problems.

Self confidence, as I master new skills.

When I dance I learn:

Balance and coordination.

To be conscious of rhythms and moods of music.

To express myself physically in an appropriate way.

About the space around me and the space of others.

When I play with rhythm instruments I learn:

To be conscious of rhythms in music.

Concepts of fast, slow, loud, soft, high, low.

To express myself in new and different ways.

Listening skills.

Auditory discrimination-recognizing different sounds.

To interpret and understand signals and cues.

When I sing songs I learn:

Principles of music and rhythm.


Memory skills and sequencing.

To be conscious of others.

Various concepts emphasized in songs.

Phonics or auditory discrimination.

Awareness and identification with my culture and other cultures.

When I cut with scissors I learn:

To control the small muscles in my hand.

Concepts of shape, size, color, and location.

To exercise my creativity and imagination.

When I play I learn:

That I am me-a small child who is valued, cherished, and loved.

I count in the world.

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