It’s no challenge to play in a room full of toys or on a playground. Such environments invite children to dive right into play and an adult can get out of the way. The play space and its equipment facilitates play and an adult need only employ a ‘watchful hands-off’ role.

But on occasions when children must endure an adult environment – a long car or bus ride, church or synagogue services, a visit to Great-aunt Hattie, a laundromat, etc. – what happens then? Is it fair or reasonable that children should have to act like a grown-up in such circumstances? Is the only play option a phone or tablet?

Create a Portable Play Pack that:

  • contains at least 10 different items that can each be used in at least 3 different ways
  • is developmentally appropriate for preschool – school-age children
  • fosters potential language, numbers, social-emotional, and STEM learning
  • fits into an easy-to-carry package no larger than a 1 gallon plastic bag (A fanny-pack or similar tote is ideal.)
  • uses inexpensive found items rather than specially purchased or prepackaged toys
  • contains the following kinds of objects that can be used for a variety of play activities such as:
    • tossing or rolling
    • gross- or fine-motor activity
    • construction play
    • creative or pretend play
    • quiet play
    • boisterous play
    • learning play
    • etcetera

Write a description of your Portable Play Pack (2-3 pages) that lists its contents and at least 3 different uses for each item. Include a photograph, if possible, of the contents. Discuss how you could encourage other adults to use the Portable Play Pack concept.

For specifics on how your Portable Play Pack assignment will be evaluated, consult the M4 Assignment Rubriclink opens in new window.

reference Johnson, J. E., Christie, J. F., & Wardle, F. (2005). Play, development, and early education. Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.