Teacher Tom gets it right when he says that children’s play is also rigorous learning, but with joy! I don’t see my job as having to teach toddlers and preschoolers letters, numbers, math, reading, etc. I provide materials for them to learn these things through activities of their choosing. I have never sat my 3 year old down to purposely teach him his letters and numbers but I am observing that he has learned them through play. We count jumps on the trampoline, or vehicles that he has lined up near a railroad crossing on his wooden train tracks. He makes letters of the alphabet with his magnet toys and blocks, and tells me the letters he knows when we are out in the car seeing buildings or trucks with big signs. He learns about measurement and physics through play in the sandbox, and he learns about balance when he creates obstacle courses either for himself to climb on, or for him to drive his toy cars and trucks around on them. Learning is fun for children and always a joy, for them and for me, when they learn through play!