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With the increase of academic requirements in the primary grades, opportunities for play and creativity have decreased. There is a substantial amount of research supporting the benefits of play, creativity, and movement related to building on individual strengths, meeting children’s needs, and enhancing learning environments in children of all ages.

Discussion 2: International Perspectives on Meaningful Learning Experiences for Young Children

With the increase of academic requirements in the primary grades, opportunities for play and creativity have decreased. There is a substantial amount of research supporting the benefits of play, creativity, and movement related to building on individual strengths, meeting children’s needs, and enhancing learning environments in children of all ages.

For this Discussion, you will explore multiple perspectives on play, creativity, the arts, and/or in early childhood learning environments and how these contribute to meaningful learning

To Prepare:

Review the Required Resources for this module and consider the role of play, creativity, the arts, and/or movement in early childhood settings. In addition, use the Walden library to locate at least one additional peer-reviewed article that provides an international perspective on how play, creativity, the arts, and/or movement may contribute to meaningful learning experiences for young children.

By Day 3 of Week 11

Post a response to the following: 

· What insights have you gained about how to support meaningful learning for young children? Which element(s) do you think most vital and why? (Support with resources)

· Summarize one article that provides an international perspective and note any new insights you may have gained from the article.

· What questions do you have about your role in supporting meaningful learning experiences?

· What area(s) for further study emerge from your learning in this course?







Play and Creativity Discussion






Kelli Barnes 

RE: Discussion 2 – Module 5


Top of Form

For this week’s discussion, I have reviewed articles that reflect a topic that is very prominent in my drive to become a better educator.  Incorporating play in the classroom is a crucial tool that teachers need to utilize more.  Allowing students to use all senses when learning and the potential enhancing of all developmental domains through one creative lesson that incorporates play can be monumental for our students and their success.  This week, not only did I dig deeper into the articles that cover this trend, but I reviewed and reflected on the international perspective of play. 

Through studies and my own experiences, I have gained a substantial amount of knowledge about the impact that incorporating play and arts in the classroom have on our students.  The most vital components of incorporating play into the classroom include the impact that it has on each developmental domain.  Through hands-on, play-based learning students are not only able to enhance cognitive development, but through peer interaction, social and emotional development is strengthened.   Furthermore, we as teachers are able to implement more developmentally appropriate lessons and practices that promote learning and development across all domains (2020).  

The article that intrigued me the most for this week’s discussion is written by P.T. Hyyonen.  The article Play in the school context? The perspectives of Finnish teachers highlights the use of play in the classrooms and the benefits that play has on instruction as a whole (Hyyonen, 2011).   In the country of Finland, play is an essential part of instruction.  Music, art, and hands-on learning are included with each lesson, and not only for the younger students.  More interactive discussions and hands-on building STEM activities are introduced for the older students.  In summary, the article poses a great point that Finland looks at play as a crucial part of their instruction and not a resource.  Therefore, it excites me more that our school systems should use this information and plan accordingly to nurture the whole child .  

In education, questions are always evolving.  As a teacher, I wonder what does it take to grow such an interest in play that our national systems would view incorporation of play and the arts as such a vital educational tool?  In addition, how can we as teachers begin to implement play and the arts in our classrooms daily to encourage more engagement?   In my years as an educator, I have grown and will still continue to educate myself on what is best for my students.  Thus continuing my research and use of play in the classroom will always be at the forefront.  I am also challenged after this course and others, to seek ways to induce a social change in my classroom that nurtures my students not for just their educational needs, but for needs that will feed each developmental domain and set foundations for life. 


Hyvönen, P. T. (2011). Play in the school context? The perspectives of Finnish teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(8), 65–83. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/aeipt.18988

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2020). Developmentally

appropriate practice: A position statement of the national association for the education of young children. 


Renee Morris 

RE: Discussion 2 – Module 5


Top of Form

Child’s Development

A child’s learning  and development is dependent upon much more than learning the curriculum standards. The Australian Parent Website (n.d.) reports that children learn best from their environment. Researchers have studied the benefits of play internationally.  Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) conducted a study to compare play in three nations.


Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) researched how play was perceived by Japanese, Swedish and American teachers. Through the research, Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) research consisted of research from information collected from one author in 2004 which consisted of one male and thirty-nine females from the eastern portion of the United States and one male and thirty-nine females from the southeastern portion of Japan.  A second study  second author gathered information from two males and thirty-eight females from Sweden in 2007. According to Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) American teachers noted that play allows children to explore and gain an understanding of the world, Japanese teachers argued that children learn to interact with others through play and  Swedish teachers thought that children create new experiences and learn from each other. Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) explained that American and Swedish teachers relate play to academic learning, however Japanese teachers did not. Through the information collected, Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) found that American teachers stated that play promotes creativity, Swedish teacher referred to play as creativity and fantasy and one Japanese teachers alluded creativity and mentioned that play allows children to create their own ideas and another Japanese teacher related play to creativity. Overall, Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) found that the Japanese educators thought of play as empowerment. Izumi-Taylor, 2006; Muto, (2004) as cited by Izumi-Taylor, Samuelsson, and Rogers (2010) empowering children is a priority and needed for developing the power to live. 


Through the information gained about play and its significance on development, one should understand the importance of allowing children opportunities to explore through play.  Play has been noted internationally by educators as allowing for creativity.  Kupers, Lehmann-Wermser, McPherson, and van Geert (2019) shared that creativity is an essential 21st century skill.  Creativity leads to development. Hamilton, Jin, and Krieg (2019) explained that development consists of two connotations, everyday progress and long term development. 


Children have the opportunity to encounter development in a variety of settings and on a daily basis. Play allows opportunities for children to explore and learn new things.  Hamilton, Jin, and Krieg (2019) explained that children should be respected in all facets; “personality and rights, the characteristics of their mental and physical development as well as their learning, and individual differences in aspects, such as developmental level, ability, experience and learning methods.” As an educator, this reminds me of the importance of differentiation and personalized learning through different opportunities. Meaningful lessons are important to a child’s development.  Meaningful lessons will incorporate opportunities to learn and develop through play, creativity and exploration.



Brown, E. D. (2020). The art of early childhood education. State Education Standard, 20(1), 1

Retrieved 10 January 2022, from 

Hamilton, A., Jin, Y., & Krieg, S. (2019). Early childhood arts curriculum: a cross-cultural 

study. Journal of Curriculum Studies51(5), 698–714. 


Izumi-Taylor, S., Samuelsson, I. P., & Rogers, C. S. (2010). Perspectives of Play in 

Three Nations: A 

Comparative Study in Japan, the United States, and Sweden. Early Childhood Research & Practice12(1).


Kupers, E., Lehmann-Wermser, A., McPherson, G., & van Geert, P. (2019). Children’s 

Creativity: A Theoretical Framework and Systematic Review. Review of Educational Research89(1), 93–124. 


The Australian Parent Website. (n.d). Learning in the baby to preschool years. Retrieved 1 

February 2022, from 


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