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The Six Cs of Playtime
It’s never “just play,” it’s learning. Learning that emerges through play is deep and meaningful to children because they have shaped it themselves. The Six Cs are skills that are exercised during play, that support development, and that help kids make sense of their world.

Collaboration The ability to work with others towards a shared goal lets children come together on what to play and how to play it.

Communication Verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills allow children to express their needs and ideas about the direction of play.

Content Through free play, children demonstrate what they know and what they are thinking about.

Critical Thinking Analyzing and sifting through information in order to make sense of it involves the part of the brain associated with attention, memory, control, and flexibility.

Creativity Content and critical thinking to come together to produce something new or different with creative innovation.

Confidence The ability to take risks and try new things, confidence grows as children discover all they can do on their own.


Adapted from the National Association for the Education of Young Children