Real Play


Real Play











Real Play: Nurturing the wonder of childhood.

Children at Trinity Lutheran Early Childhood Center of Freistadt experience a devotion to warmth, support, and safety while the wonder of childhood is nurtured, and children actively engage (physically, verbally or through observation) in their own learning, discovery, and adventures where they are empowered to take physical, emotional, and intellectual risks.


Benefits of Real Play

  • Discovery of God’s creation
  • Interests of the child are honored; Children are empowered to lead their own play
  • Children feel a sense of ownership of their discoveries and of the learning process
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Increases creative problem solving and flexible thinking abilities
  • Boosts critical thinking
  • Children develop conflict resolution skills
  • The development of high order thinking habits and processes
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Increased retention of learning
  • Cultivate relationships with peers
  • Fewer classroom behavior issues
  • Allowed to experience boredom; and the really amazing things that can blossom from it


What is the role of the caregiver in Real Play?

  • Caregivers create an environment of Christian love, trust, joy, engagement and risk
  • Caregivers provide the time, freedom and space for the children
  • Practice deep listening and active observation
    • Notice child’s conversations, words, actions and friendships
    • Take note of their schemas and their developmental markers
    • Ensure hazards are removed; See section “A Message About Risk” for further information
  • Caregivers understand the experience of the child on the child’s terms, and create a framework for allowing the child to add complexity and depth to their experiences
  • Caregivers document children’s investigations, curiosities, and projects via our narratives, photos and by valuing their artifacts
  • Caregivers create boundaries and set expectations/standards. (I.E. Children may not sit on the table during mealtime; children may use the restroom when the need arises but they are required to try before certain activities; children must wash hands before mealtime; etc)
  • We are deeply honor children when we speak with them about what we witness them doing.
  • Caregivers will interact with the children by invitation only
    • The play belongs to the children; the caregivers will not assume the children need or want them to be a part of it
  • Caregivers will not interfere based on their “adult knowledge” of the world
    • Allowing children to explore and discover; try and fail and try again
    • The best learning comes as a result of authentic application and natural consequences
    • Caregivers offer questions to encourage learning vs offering solutions right away
  • Caregivers will intervene when necessary
    • Children will be encouraged to problem solve with their peers
    • Caregivers will step in when children are not able to come to a resolution or when danger/hazards arise
  • Caregivers will be models of the behaviors we expect from the children

Contact Us

Trinity Early Childhood Center
10729 West Freistadt Road
Mequon, WI 53097

Infant & Toddler House Phone:
(262) 242-1498

Toddler, Preschool & Extended Care Phone:
(262) 242-4330

Billing and Enrollment Phone:
(262) 242-1498

Hours 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

© 2017 Trinity Lutheran Freistadt