All children learn through play. The most meaningful play is facilitated and shared by teachers. Therefore, each teacher at our center will provide varied opportunities for play and learning all throughout the day and during each routine. The teacher will describe and ask questions about what the child is playing with. The teacher will act as a commentator and will describe what the child is doing, what they themselves are doing, and what is going on in the environment. The teacher will carry on a conversation with the child, asking, pausing, and answering as necessary. They will use facial expressions and change in tone to model natural conversation. The teacher will mimic sounds and expressions the child makes and put words to the child’s emotions, expressions, and actions. The teacher will label and identify what the child is playing with (color, shape, function, etc.) and continually repeat important vocabulary words, phrases, and actions of play. Noticing what the child can do, planning the next experience, and then carrying out that plan is an ongoing, everyday expectation. This should be followed up by reflection time through self-questioning and evaluation.


·         Songs and rhymes

·         Read aloud

·         Label environment

·         Commentate

·         Mimic sounds

·         Use repetition

·         Use extension

·         Question

·         Converse with natural pauses

·         Vary tone and volume

·         Use a variety of words

When playing with a toy:

·         Label it

·         Demonstrate the function

·         Describe its parts

·         Talk about what happens when you manipulate the toy

·         Encourage them to try it

·         Praise their attempts

·         Repeat key words

·         Acknowledge the child’s ideas and perspectives

·         Follow their lead

·         Introduce another toy/object for a new experience



·         Count everything (body parts, food, colors, toys, time, movements)

·         Talk about what will happen next

·         Transition with time warnings

·         Talk about shapes

·         Point out patterns

·         Point out numerals




Social/Emotional (with you and with peers)

·         Point out what other children are doing

·         Label and validate emotions

·         Point out when others are sad, happy, angry, etc.

·         Describe how they may be feeling

·         Be near children who are attempting to play together to facilitate conversation and play

·         Point out facial expressions/emotions in pictures (of them, in books, on posters, etc.)


·         Sing songs

·         Add movements to match rhythm and lyrics

·         Demonstrate how to play an instrument

·         Try new ways to make sounds and encourage them to try

·         Praise their efforts

·         Talk about music that is playing

·         Play music that is connected to what they are playing with or interested in

·         Play a variety of music that offers different sounds


·         Encourage movement (eye gaze, put a toy just beyond their reach, providing objects for pulling up)

·         Demonstrate different movements

·         Standing near gross motor equipment to encourage safe risks

·         Support their next level (climbing, walking, etc.)

·         Provide materials that will strengthen their gross and fine motor skills (play-doh, push toys, things to grip)



·         Point out things in nature and what it’s function is

·         Observe living things in their environment and commentate

·         Bring nature into the classroom for them to experience it through their senses

·         Create opportunities for cause and effect (peek-a-boo, moving a toy, hiding a toy under a blanket, demonstrating how to use cause and effect toys)

·         Sensory play

·         Verbalize children’s attempts to make things happen