Education K-12 M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Silmser, Lisa


This thesis focuses on understanding the impacts play has on the development of social, emotional, and academic development of children. The foundation of play first starting in kindergarten classrooms, was meant to engage children in meaningful activities that lead to development of the whole child. Over time there was a shift to increase academic readiness and rigor in school. This led to less play-based learning opportunities in classrooms. Play-based learning provides opportunities for children to explore, discover, and have enhanced learning, socially, emotionally, and academically. Educators are the ones to create these opportunities for children. Teacher’s need effective strategies to incorporate play in the classroom, such as, variety of experiences and approaches, mentorships to reflect on implementation, making sure there is enough time to play, all while fostering relationships with students. Through providing opportunities for children to learn through play, allows educators to truly build foundations for the whole child.

Degree Name

Education K-12 M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Education Commons