Children love to play.

In fact, play is a child’s “work,” and as they play, they learn.

Albert Einstein noted that play is “the highest form of research.”

Watch young children at play, and you will be delighted by their tremendous energy, unbridled curiosity, and joy.

This is why Carden Hall has made play an integral part of each child’s daily schedule in our Pre-K program.

In the early years, your child is going through a unique and wonderful time in life.

It is not in a competitive race against other children nor is it a rehearsal for adulthood.


It is a time when natural curiosity moves children to explore new knowledge about their world. This knowledge is gained most naturally through hands-on, child-selected, interest-based play activities.

When children are playing and their attention is focused on self-selected activities, they develop a passion for learning.

When you give children the ability to make their own choices, to engage with other children, and to spend time amusing themselves on their own without a screen, they learn so much about themselves, their capabilities, and the workings of the world around them.


Not only does play provide context for thinking, building knowledge, solving problems, and increasing social skills, it also helps your child to integrate emotional experiences and internalize guidance from the teachers.

According to Rae Pica, in her book What If Everybody Understood Childhood Development, there are many additional benefits to children when their school values play as an integral part of a child’s daily schedule:

  • Cooperative play is conducive to emotional health.
  • Play encourages children to find new ways of relating to one another and enhances the ability to share, cooperate, negotiate, compromise, make and revise rules, and take on the perspective of others.
  • Play provides opportunities for children to meet and solve problems while expressing their thoughts and feelings.
  • While playing, children learn to cooperate with others, to persevere, to practice self-regulation, and to develop feelings of empathy toward others.
  • Play encourages children to see that in any given situation there is more than one “right” answer, which encourages divergent problem-solving.
  • When children play together, at an activity of their choice, it promotes language and literacy development.
  • Playing with others prompts children to collaborate and to compromise as they share ideas, decide what activities to pursue, and agree upon the best strategy to accomplish their goals.

At Carden Hall, we firmly believe that play in early childhood is a fundamental part of the learning process and is the one of the best tools to ensure that your child benefits from later academic instruction.

This is why we built a brand new natural play area for our Pre-K program that includes a fort, rocks for climbing, an arroyo, and bridges.

If you are interested in Carden Hall’s Pre-K program, please call us at 949-645-1773 or click here to schedule a tour.