Learning Through Play

Does anyone else wish we were allowed to play more in you classroom?  I’m not only talking about Kindergarten… bigger kids love playing too!  I am always looking for opportunities in my classroom to create moments that promote play, conversation, teamwork, and creativity.
Lakeshore and I have partnered together to review some of their learning resources that are perfect for preschool and primary students. Please note that I am a blog ambassador for Lakeshore Learning and I am compensated for my blog post, but all ideas are mine. 🙂
A simple way to incorporate play into your classroom is using it as a reward! When I revealed this Play and Explore Rocket to the students they couldn’t contain themselves!  
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If you are allowed time to play in your classroom then get ready, because your students will LOVE this rocket.  If you aren’t allowed play time then you can set this in an area in your room and use it as an incentive for excellent behavior!  If you catch students behaving well then you can give them 5 minutes to play once they are done with their work.  

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I loved hearing them discuss and plan how they were going to play and what they wanted to do with the astronauts.  Playtime is a great opportunity for language development if you have an English Language Learner population in your class!

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One of my favorite Lakeshore resources are the Sweet Treats! Letter Molds.  These letter molds are made for baking, but I brought them into the classroom for the students to make play dough letter shapes.  We made sight words using the letters, put the letters in order, and also spelled our names.   

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These molds can be put in the freezer or oven, so the options really are endless on how you can use these.  This would be great to bake A-Z cookies for the class once you learn all of the letters of the alphabet!

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I also like the idea of placing pom poms and tweezers at the table for the students to pick up pom poms and place them in the letter mold to make letters.  

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Do you have a magnetic station in your class?  I would highly recommend the Magnetic Creation Station from Lakeshore.  This resource is super durable and contains a really strong magnetic base for the students to build onward and upward.  

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Again, one of my favorite components of watching them explore was listening to the collaboration, discussion, and teamwork when trying to build a tall tower.  They were using critical thinking and trial and error to make their design.
One thing I like to encourage is for them to actually have a plan on what they are going build and then try to achieve it.  The magnetic set comes with a design book showing different construction ideas, and the students appreciated having a visual of what their design could possibly look like.

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If you are interested in any of these activities, I have a 20% off coupon waiting for you, follow this LINK to get the coupon!
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