Play-Based Learning: The Effects On Social-emotional Development and Academic Success In Pre-primary and Primary Grades


Kristina Kamp


Fall 2020


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Patty Born Selly

Content Expert

Anna Dutke


and academic success. Play gives children opportunities to develop physical competence, understand and make sense of their world, interact with others, express and control emotions, develop problem-solving abilities, and practice emerging skills ( Almon, 2014; Elkind, 2007; NAEYC,2009). The research question addressed in this project was How does Play-Based Learning affect Social-Emotional Development and Academic Success? Play-Based Learning can be a driving force to enforce curricular competencies, such as literacy, grammar acquisition, numeracy skills, mathematical skills, and other concepts more efficiently by engaging students in hands-on learning. Studies have shown that play impacts not only academic achievement but also physical, social, cognitive, and emotional abilities (Almon, 2014; Ginsburg, 2007; Hassinger-Das et al., 2017; Hyvoven, 2011; Pyle, 2018; Van Hoorn, 2015). Play-Based Learning pedagogy is a flexible, child-centered method that is engaging and developmentally appropriate to meet children’s needs. A Professional Development Seminar was created for educators, educational assistants, and administration of a K-4 charter school. The purpose of this seminar was to inform and extend the researched benefits of Play-Based Learning. The goal was to also encourage more educators to allow students to learn through play and experiences with developmentally appropriate practices. This is highly encouraged due to Play-Based Learning being considered a component of best practices in early childhood classrooms (Hyvoven, 2011; Nitecki & Chung, 2013; Nugent, 2017). The project’s intended impact was for educators to reflect on their current practices and start to think about alternative ways they can make to their practice to incorporate more Play-Based Learning. As a result, I hope educators are as inspired by the overwhelming benefits that Play-Based Learning has on social-emotional development and academic success.

Project Type

Professional Development


Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Early Childhood, Play-Based Learning








School of Education Student Capstone Projects

This document is currently not available here.