Play Helps Young Children Be Ready for School

Children playing on road rug

With the increasing pressures of school readiness, many child care programs are actually cutting back on unstructured free play time. Pressured teachers believe that structured, teacher-led activities are the only way to help children be ready to read, do math, and understand science when they enter kindergarten. But what do we really know about young children and play? How does play help children learn?

Many adults are mistaken about play. We view “playing” as a frivolous activity, meant to fill …

Hands-On Activities for Child Care

blocks and baby's feet

Welcome to the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care Database of Hands-On Activities. Here you will find hundreds of hands-on, ready-to-do activities especially designed to help young children of different ages learn, develop, and flourish. The activities can be used in the curriculum of child care classrooms or family child care homes. Parents and grandparents may also enjoy sharing some of the activities with children at home. Search or browse classroom activities to find what you need for language …