4 Introduction X experiences. In addition, the emotional nature of play is discussed. Chapter 7 gives ideas for complicating the play and taking it to even higher cognitive lev- els in both literacy and math by adding representation to children’s play experi- ences. And in chapter 8, strategies for incorporating standards and goals into children’s play are explored. The emphasis is on how to use observation to see standards and goals in action for assessment purposes as well as to determine next steps with the children. The relation between sustaining children’s interest and engagement and adding challenging achievable goals to their play scenarios is also discussed. The conclusion provides some final thoughts. Teachers’ actions have direct effects on the quality and benefits of young children’s play. I hope that this book provides a provocation to the field of early childhood education to consider the many ways that teachers can be intentional in enhancing the depth and richness of children’s play. And as the guidelines in the third edition of DAP remind us Excellent teachers know . . . it’s both joy and learning . . . they go hand in hand . . . Teachers are always more effective when they tap into this natural love of learning rather than dividing work and enjoyment. As some early childhood educators like to put it, children love nothing better than “hard fun.” (Copple and Bredekamp 2009, 50) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX