Play-based Learning Resources


  • Dinnerstein, R. (2016). Choice time: How to deepen learning through inquiry and play, prek-2. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

  • Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Becoming brilliant: What science tells us about raising successful children. American Psychological Association.

  • Gronlund, G. (2013). Planning for play, observation, and learning in preschool and kindergarten. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf press.

  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Berk, L. E., & Singer, D. G. (2009). A mandate for playful learning in preschool: Presenting the evidence. Oxford University Press.

  • Kuh, L. (2014). Thinking critically about environments for young children: Bridging theory and practice. New York, NY. Teachers College Press.

  • Mraz, K., Porcelli, A., & Tyler, C. (2016). Purposeful play: a teacher's guide to igniting deep & joyful learning across the day.

  • Nell, M. L., Drew, W. F., & Bush, D. E. (2013). From play to practice: Connecting teachers' play to children's learning.

  • Schulz, L. E., & Bonawitz, E. B. (2007). Serious fun: Preschoolers engage in more exploratory play when evidence is confounded. Developmental Psychology, 43(4), 1045–1050.

The Children's Museum of New Hampshire (CMNH) is committed to supporting play-based learning and has collaborated with the UNH Early Learning Coaching Team to share resources that they have created for both families and educators. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the Children's Museum of New Hampshire shared play-based learning tips and activities through social media and their website. These tips are designed to deliver information about play-based learning in an easy-to-read and short format in an effort to make play-based learning more accessible for children and adults.

 View additional play-based learning resources created by the CMNH


In late August 2018, Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and PDG Primary Investigator, held two workshops with educators at the NH DOE to discuss instructional strategies and tools prior to the start of the school year. Since early 2019, the UNH Early Learning Coaching Team has continued to collaborate with the NH DOE to support the state's kindergarten teachers and administrators with the implementation of play-based learning.

For more information about the most recent and upcoming play-based learning professional development opportunities contact 

Karen DuBois-Garofalo, M.Ed.
Lead Early Learning Coach & Coordinator
University of New Hampshire   

NH DOE Kindergarten Toolkit