Creative Play Ideas

Building blocks

Creative Play is an important part of any early childhood classroom; however, are you sure you are dedicating enough time to it? The stakes are high. We now know that if a child leaves the first grade struggling to read, it is a good indicator that there will be more academic challenges ahead for him. So, with so much emphasis placed on building a strong literacy skills, sometimes creative play is placed on the back burner. Instead of playing at the kitchen center in preschool, students are doing early phonics worksheets. While I feel that all of the components of a sound reading program are important, I believe that creative play in the preschool classroom is just as important, if not more.
My daughter is currently in her second year of preschool. As a teacher, I tried early on to incorporate a number of literacy activities into our daily routine. I always have paper and writing materials available to use. We have many books that we read from daily. When she turned three, I really tried to help her learn her letters and write her name. The only problem was she was not interested in my activities at all. She would rather build with blocks or play with play dough. It did not take me long to realize that I was not meeting her at her level and scaffolding her learning. She was eager to learn through creative play.
Luckily, we found the perfect preschool match for her. She is attending a school that uses the "Tools of the Mind" curriculum. It is a play-based program that heavily emphasizes the importance of learning through play. She is excelling, and I am learning right beside her. I believe that gaining self-confidence and strong social skills by playing can help build a solid foundation for life-long learning.
Think about how you are incorporating creative play into your early learning program or daily schedule. Visit to see what great products they have to support creative play in your classroom!