Play Plans

Posted by Kids Express Team on April 15, 2014 at 11:10 AM

We use Play Plans here at Kids Express in our classrooms where the children are ready for them. Since this was a new concept to me, one that was really unique, I’d like to take the time to explain them just a bit.

A play plan is a drawn and written description of what the child expects to do during a specific play time (usually center time), including imaginary situations, roles they want to be and even the props (toys) they might use. 

Planning on paper creates a record of what the child wanted to do that the child and the teacher can look at. The plan can be looked at any time to remind a child of their plan. Potential ‘hot spots’ are worked out in advance. This helps us lessen conflicts and it teaches the children to eventually solve conflicts on their own (meaning it helps them to self-regulate).

Teachers can write down what the child says they will do if the child cannot yet write. This turns the planning session into a literacy activity. The children can then draw their plan or even paste pictures that represent the roles on their plan.

Planning on paper strengthens play’s self-regulation function. It provides a way for both the child and the teacher to revisit the plan to help thechild remember what they planned to do.

In creating, discussing and revising their plans, children can learn to control their behaviors in play and beyond, thus acquiring self-regulatory skills (as opposed to the teacher always having to tell them what to do). Play plans can increase the quality of child play and the level of self-regulation, while teaching writing, reading, and other important skills.


Additionally, the play plan serves as a tool to measure each student’s growth. In the beginning of the year they may be drawing a very simple picture with not much writing but near the end the plans will be detailed and descriptive.


Play plans are a wonderful tool that you can even use at home! Simply give some options of activities and ask your child to choose one and draw what they are going to be doing!


For more information on play plans please ask our administrators or teachers or go to our Parent Resources board on our Pinterest Page!

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