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Posted in , on April 23, 2024

Fun leads to learning in pre-k

Lots of playtime probably isn’t what comes to mind when you think about going to school. But for Arlington ISD’s pre-K students, purposeful play is a big part of every day.

The key word is purposeful. The play is incorporated into the curriculum and is designed to foster curiosity and encourage learning in the district’s youngest learners. It is detailed, intentional, engaging, data-driven and differentiated based on the learner.

“Developmentally-appropriate purposeful play is an engaging way to develop children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical skills,” said Nadia Azari, Arlington ISD early childhood specialist. “It encourages creative thinking while achieving intended learning outcomes.”

Why play?

Pre-K play equals learningPlay is how young children learn. They are innately curious, and they feed and foster that curiosity through playful sensory-rich experiences that encourage kids to explore, discover and ask questions.

Through playful exploration, children discover the world around them and learn to make sense of it. When they find meaning and purpose in their play, they learn.

“Children do this primarily with their five senses,” said Ken Foster, Arlington ISD early childhood specialist. “What does it look like, sound like, smell like, taste like and feel like? To adults, it looks like playing. However, to the child, it is engagement in learning. The more sophisticated children become with using their five senses, the more efficient they become with adding new information.”

Play is the vehicle for students to be able to grow and develop many skills, including social and emotional skills, fine motor skills and problem-solving skills. They also improve their vocabulary and gain the confidence to try new things.

Purposeful play teaches the whole child, meeting them where they are developmentally, and providing the building blocks for a solid educational foundation.

Pre-K is about preparing young students to start kindergarten and kick off a life-long journey of learning. Purposeful play is designed to do just that.

Register Now

Registration for Arlington ISD’s pre-K 3, pre-k 4 and kindergarten for next school year is now open. Start the process online here. Learn more at and feel free to contact the pre-K team at (682) 867-9418 or with any of your questions.

And check out this post with lots of important dates and details about pre-K registration.