Play and Planning

Purposeful planning helps support rich and meaningful play experiences.

It’s important to realize that you have to plan for play! Meaningful, purposeful, fun play doesn’t happen without the right combination of environmental organization, a bounty of good, multi-purposed materials, and thoughtful, intentional planning.

A preschool teacher named Ashley has created an interesting website and blog (Links to an external site.) for preschool teachers. She uses some themes in planning, which is not a method supported by our text. But I really liked some of the things she has on her website. I want to be sure that she is acknowledged and given credit for the materials I am sharing here. She doesn’t share her last name, but she calls her blog:

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I think she’s done a good job of creating a template for planning that can incorporate a play-based philosophy and curriculum. Here is the planning guide she developed:

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Part 1: Initial Post

In a well-developed paragraph, share your ideas about how a planning guide like Ashley’s can facilitate meaningful, open-ended play for a group of preschool children. Or perhaps you think a planning guide like this might inhibit open-ended play. That’s OK too. What’s important is that you think about what kind of planning best supports open-ended, purposeful play for preschool children and that you share your thoughts with your classmates.

Part 2: Replies to 2 Classmates

1. Read through several of your classmates posts.

2. Please reply to one student whose initial post made you go “Wow! I didn’t think about that! Great idea!” and share with them how you could use their idea in your own planning to support play-based learning.

3. Please reply to one student whose initial posts made you go “Whoa!! I need to learn more about this idea!” and ask that student a kind and gracious question to learn more about what they think. For example “You shared that you believe a good preschool planning guide should have a specific time for teaching reading each day. How would you set that up? What would you do to teach reading?”

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