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Introduction e DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET The companion to this book, When Play Isn’t Fun, discusses how to set up your environment and plan activities for play. It also explores several group-play chal- lenges children encounter and how you can help children solve them. This book, When Play Isn’t Easy, also looks at play challenges but through the experience of the individual child. The book begins by outlining how play meets standards and helps you articulate your beliefs about the value of play. It moves to discussing the Play Checklist, which helps you identify what the child is doing in play. If you have children in your learning environment who experience difficulties during play, this book can help you identify problems and write goals to support children as they try out new play skills. Time to Reflect Sometimes individual children show us troublesome behaviors during play. Describe one child’s behavior that bugs you when the child is playing with others. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Why do you think the behavior bothers you? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Looking at Your Role Before children even enter your learning environment, you prepare by designing the space to play in, providing props related to a theme, and setting aside enough time in your schedule so children have an extended playtime. Once you have set the stage, it is time for the children to become involved in play. Your involvement isn’t done, however. You continue to have a role in observing play and document- ing children’s skill development and because children sometimes need help: COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 5