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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL • Time. Children need ample time to settle into play. It’s best for adults to set aside our rigid schedules and to operate on kid time. • Team. Allowing children to choose who they interact with is another way to support child-led play. Let’s face it: we’re all happier, more engaged, and more eager to try new things when we’re surrounded by people we enjoy being with. • Technique. Letting kids decide how they’re going to do what they’re doing is another way to trust kids as learners. A child’s approach to an activity or task may not be as orderly or straightforward as yours, but early learning is more about the journey than the destination. Trust. • Trust. Letting kids lead requires trust. Trusting kids as able, thoughtful, and eager learners creates a solid foundation for play-based learning. Trusting kids means giving them some control over their learning. Realize that children know what they’re interested in and have an innate understanding of their own abilities. When you do, you’ll be able to trust them to learn. • Make room. Kids need room to move in because play is oftentimes a full-body activity. Too often, early learning settings are cramped and cluttered. Big, wide-open, and flexible spaces are best for early learning. xx COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL