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About Me

Welcome to Structured Play!

As my son turned 12 months old I knew I wanted to start to focus on building skills but I did not want it to be 'School.' I feel for small children play-based learning is the most important learning strategy. Structured Play is my attempt to build skills through play.

I have a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in Curriculum Development. Before I had my son I taught grades one through eight but spent most years teaching grades two and three. I love teaching and will go back but in the meantime, I cherish every minute with my little guy.

I turned to the blog world to help me think of an idea to bring play-based learning into our home. I had a hard time finding things to do with a small child. I decided to be that resource by chronicling my efforts. I have really enjoyed getting to know parents and teachers across the world. I hope Structured Play is a helpful resource to you!
Questions, comments, thoughts...
Please contact me at
structuredplay@gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

Play to Write- Week 3

We participating in a Wednesday Play Group called Play to Write over at Cherrios and Lattes. This is week 3- Write/Spell Your Name.  We started this week's practice with some name tracing. Cherrios and Lattes provides the printable for some dotted letters. She suggested doing rainbow writing with this sheet. I showed Jacob but he was more interested in writing all the Jacobs. I started by modeling on the first name. Then I held his hand and we did it together. Finally I let him do the last three on his own with only my verbal prompts.  He took this very seriously and was very proud of himself! I was surprised at how much he liked doing this activity. He has a long way to go but he did pretty well! One thing I had to repeat was not to go around the o and a more than once. He wanted to go around and around. This is an activity that I think he will want to do again! The next activity was Missing Letter Name Practice. We started by singing a little song I sing for Jake to teach him h…

Name Writing Practice

Jacob did a little name writing practice today. He was asked to trace the dotted lines to write letters for his name. This is good practice with spelling as well. I had him say each letter as he wrote the letter.  As you can see he is very choppy and not exactly on the dotted lines. His motor skills are not quite sharp enough yet to be able to hold the crayon and he especially loses control as he works on towards the end. We also did a Missing Letter Name Practice. Both of these ideas came from Cherrios and Lattes' Play to Write, Write to Read. These are good ways to practice names and writing. He gets very angry if he thinks he made a mistake. See the scribbling. I have to reinforce that it is ok to make a mistake and that everyone makes mistakes but we just keep trying. Practice is the only way to get better. When this happens I cannot help but think of my former students that did the very same thing and proceeded to throw fits and give up. I hope to help Jacob get over this fr…

Learning Colors

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Every month I try to include a new color activity in our Structured Play time. Colors are probably the item that gives him the most trouble, or at least give me the most trouble! He doesn't seem to be able to say his colors after over a year of practice! Sometimes he will get them with no problem and other times get can't get them right to save his life! I was actually starting to worry that he was color blind! I found these cute little colored organizers in the $1 section of target. I loved them and got some inspiration. (I picked up one of each color I could find. No luck on green, boo!) I then printed these color cards from Home School Creations. This website has a plethora of resources. Set aside some time if you are going to check it out because you will be sucked in! :) I placed the cards face up, mixed up on the floor. The pictures are fun I knew Jake would find them interesting. I asked Jake if he wanted to sort the cards into the bins but he said no, so I started …