‘Play Each Day Week’ Coming April 27-May 1!

iLEAD Agua Dulce Student

Dear Families,

Now more than ever, play is crucial in the lives of our children. To thrive in today’s fast-changing world, people of all ages must learn to think and act creatively — and the best way to do that is by focusing more on imagining, creating, playing, sharing, and reflecting, just as children do through play. As their advocates, we need to ensure that we are providing our learners with opportunities to stimulate their sense of wonder and spark their curiosity. 

Play is not only beneficial for healthy brain development but also serves as a coping mechanism for anxiety and provides a buffer for stress, meltdowns, and negative feelings. Play is the pathway toward building strong academic skills and is essential for social and emotional resilience. Using play and a playful spirit as a means to let children work on projects, passions-driven inquiries, in collaboration with peers (remotely), we can help them prepare for a world where creative thinking is more important than ever before. REMEMBER: we are navigating through uncertain times and expectations. Play allows children to become adaptive, resilient, collaborative, and imaginative and to work with changes and challenges as they occur.

In honor of PLAY, we will be hosting a “Play Each Day” for each day of the week, beginning Monday, April 27, through Friday, May 1. Our goal is to help families and facilitators use play as a vehicle to allow children, in all grade levels, to complete assignments by using their imaginations and immersing themselves in creativity, discovery, and joy. Because PLAY is so vital, the activities during “Play Each Day Week” are not something “extra to do”; rather, they will be part of each learner’s work for the week.

To launch “Play Each Day Week” and learn more about the research and benefits of play, we are offering a Zoom Parent University on Friday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m. We hope you will join us! The Zoom code will be emailed home, and the session will be recorded for later viewing.

Please take pictures of your child playing, and send them to your child’s facilitator and Miss Bybee aidan.bybee@ileadaguadulce.org so we can include them on our social media pages and in video!

“It must not be forgotten that the basic law of children’s creativity is that its value lies not in its results, not in the product of creation, but in the process itself. It is not important what children create, but that they do create, that they exercise and implement their creative imagination.” —Lee Vtgowsky

Play Each Day Week

There is no right or wrong way to play. The most important part of play is the process and not the final product. So we ask that the adults step back and allow the learners to lead while you foster their innate sense of curiosity. Let the play begin! Please take a look at the ideas below, make them your own, adapt them, change them, but most of all HAVE FUN and enjoy the process

iLEAD Agua Dulce Play Based LearningMonday

Oh “My” Design! 

Design challenges help children to think critically and problem-solve. Design engineering helps children to define problems, create prototypes, and hone those prototypes through multiple repetitions until they have generated a viable solution or solutions


  • Design and build a fort
  • Build a Rube-Goldberg Machine
  • Create a mousetrap with toothpicks and marshmallows
  • Build cardboard creatures
  • Create a board game
  • Take apart an old electronic device
  • Destroy an old item
  • Use loose parts from around your house to innovate and create
  • Create an arcade game with cardboard boxes
  • Design and build a catapult (small and big)
  • Design an obstacle course 
  • Invent a new toy


Dress for a Mess!

Immersive play, which includes sensory, mud, and unstructured art, supports language development, cognitive growth, fine/gross motor skills, problem-solving, and reasoning. This type of play stimulates the imagination and opens the heart and mind to possibilities. 


  • Make slime and play dough 
  • Mud play
  • Water play
  • Splatter painting 
  • Nature art 
  • Paint/color things from nature: pinecones, rocks, leaves
  • Create a nature mobile using objects from nature
  • Sidewalk art
  • Garden
  • Bake

iLEAD Agua Dulce StudentsWednesday

Incredible Imagination

Dramatic/pretend play encourages children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Role-playing helps them to improve their ability to do this in real life. It is a time when children break through the walls of reality, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, and dramatize situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play. This type of play is essential for children to help cope with difficult situations and stress. It aids in helping them to make sense of the world around them. 


  • Create a costume (from anything) 
  • Act out a storybook
  • Build your own toy
  • Design your own board game
  • Develop a town for your pet to live in 
  • Have a tea party
  • Make your own music
  • Create a movie using objects around the house
  • Have a family talent show
  • Create a video or stop animation
  • Have a puppet show
  • Set up a tent or fort in the backyard or living room and go “camping”

iLEAD Agua Dulce Project Based LearningThursday

Cultivating Curiosity

Instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity is a powerful tool. Children are innately curious, and it is up to us to ensure that we foster it. The best learning stems from curiosity; it is through curious exploration that people become problem-solvers and innovators. 


  • Science experiments
  • Baking soda and vinegar 
  • Oobleck 
  • Rock candy
  • Tornado in a bottle
  • Potato battery
  • Bug hunt and observations
  • Garden
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Change a lightbulb
  • Construction work
  • Hammer nails into objects
  • Use a screwdriver
  • Use a wrench
  • Build a birdhouse
  • Take apart an electronic item to see how it works
  • Disassemble old toys; combine parts to make new ones

iLEAD Agua Dulce Outdoor LearningFriday

Find Your Passion

When children are in the driver’s seat of their learning, there is no limit to what they can achieve. Foster their inquisitiveness through meaningful conversations and observations. Know that exploring something that brings joy leads to self-confidence, perseverance, and self-awareness. It also inspires children to dive deeper into a subject and makes them more willing to take risks. 


According to the latest research:

“It takes over 400 repetitions to create a synapse in the brain (true learning) without playful engagement…


It takes about 12 repetitions to create a synapse when you use play to teach.” 


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