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The Learning Ladder II

Home A reading and writing curriculum for Family Child Care Providers, Children and Families

Module 2: The Role of Play
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Family Projects

Girl showing work Each time you complete one of the projects below you are doing important work. You are helping parents support their child's play.

These projects will help families understand how important play can be for their children. At the same time they will support the good work that you do every day.

Stages of Play

Provider/Parent Activity: Making playdough with children. This activity is developmentally appropriate for older toddlers, preschoolers and school aged children.

Sometimes, parents and other adults do not understand how important play is for children's learning. You can help them by doing the following activity.

  1. Make playdough with the children.
    • Before you do the activity, create a poster that shows the children the recipe. Use pictures or symbols instead of words whenever possible.
    • Make the playdough by following this recipe:
      • 2 cups of flour
      • 1 cup of salt
      • 2 tablespoons of oil
      • 1/2 cup of water
      • Mix together the dry ingredients (flour and salt).
      • Add the wet ingredients ( oil and water) and mix well until completely blended.
      • If you want, add liquid food coloring to make colored playdough.
  2. Write the recipe on an index card for each child in your program. Send home the recipe card and a piece of the playdough with each of the children.
  3. Also send a letter that explains to parents ways that they can use the playdough for playing with their children. For example, they can use cookie cutters and rolling pins with the dough. You might also want to tell them how inexpensive to make the playdough is, and suggest that they make some more with their child.
  4. Make sure that you save the note on your disk portfolio so you can make changes later if you need to.
  5. Share your letter with your tutor and send it home to the parents in your program.

Learning Through Play

Provider/Parent Activity: Requesting "dress-up" clothes

In Part 3 you learned that when children pretend and play roles of mother and father it can be helpful in a child's development. Children can imagine the roles better if they have real clothing to wear.

  1. For this project, you are going to send a letter home to all of your parents. In the letter, explain to them that you are trying to increase the number of "dress-up" clothes in your housekeeping area.
  2. Make a list of new items that you need. The list might include:
    • costume or old jewelry
    • neck ties
    • dresses
    • aprons
  3. Make sure that you save the letter on your disk portfolio so you can make changes later if you need to.
  4. Share your letter with your tutor and send it home to the parents in your program.

Facilitators of Play

Provider/Parent Activity: Parents as facilitators of play

Sometimes parents need help understanding what their child is learning while they are playing. This activity can help parents connect their child's play with the concepts the child is learning and become better facilitators of play.

  1. Create an activity sheet for parents. See the example below.
  2. Write directions to three or more simple games that parents can create with things that they can find around the house.
  3. Explain the concepts that each game helps to develop.
  4. Share your activity sheet with your supervisor and your tutor before sending the sheet home.
Activity Concepts

Example: Ask your child to help you to take socks out of the dryer and sort them into the same colors, sizes etc.


Example: Learning colors, what things are the same or different, how to match and make pairs


















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