Samuelsson, I. P. & Carlsson, M. A. (2008). The playing learning child: Towards a pedagogy of early childhood. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 52(6), 623-641.
This article explains why children are active and how the nature of being a child is constantly exploring. If a child, by nature, is constantly exploring, then educators should allow children to explore and learn in a way that is natural to them. Play is something that children do.
I liked this article because it explains the mechanism behind children playing as a means to encourage creativity in children's thinking. In this article, the authors explain why play is important but also how the teacher's role matters in the playing and learning of the child.
Samuelsson, I. P. & Johansson, E. (2006). Play and learning--inseparable dimensions in preschool practice. Early Child Development and Care, 176(1), 47-65.
Samuelsson and Johansson explain in this article some of the major implications of play. They discuss the benefits of play, especially when the teacher allows the children to direct the learning process when playing. This article also discusses why there are some issues with play in the classroom. The two authors explain that children are learning about how the world around them works while they are playing.
This article is very helpful when attempting to understand the benefits of play and the circumstances in which learning through play is most useful and effective. I liked this article, because it not only talked about the benefits of playing and learning combined, but it explained some different ways to utilize this practice.
Smidt, S. (2013). The developing child in the 21st century. New York, NY: Routledge.
This is a useful textbook in understanding how to interpret the development and thought process of the young child. Many textbooks focus on the child's outer development while this book focuses on the thought process of the child during the development process. This book gives the science and psychology of play based on theorists such as Vygotsky, Piaget, Bruner, and others.
I like this text because it leaves room for interpretation based on different understandings and different beliefs. It also ties in a cultural aspect. It addresses how play would matter to different people based on cultural norms and values.
Whitebread, D., Coltman, P., Jameson, H., & Lander, R. (2009). Play, cognition, and self-regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play? Educational & Child Psychology, 26(2), 40-52.
In this article, the authors explain that children learn a variety of things during play. They explain two things in particular, which are self-regulation and cognition. The article gives many examples of situations in which children can learn or display these things.
I think this is the article I will reference whenever I need to explain to anyone the importance of play. This article focuses on the social knowledge which comes from play, but there are a number of other lessons that come from play. Without the social aspect that this aspect focuses on, the children will not be able to create lasting relationships necessary for learning later in life.