Childsplay’s EYEPlay Program (Early Years Educators at Play) is a creative drama-based, job-embedded professional development program for early childhood educators. Participants work one-on-one with professional teaching artists to strengthen literacy learning in their classroom through drama integration. With funding from the Helios Education Foundation, EYEPlay is adapted from Drama Frames, Childsplay’s successful, evidence-based model of training elementary classroom teachers to integrate drama into teaching curricular content.
EYEPlay is an 18 month program of scaffolded learning units, each of which follows an “I do, we do, you do” approach in which an educator progressively experiences and masters material. Childsplay’s model combines foundational skills training with role-modeling and one-on-one structured feedback, providing participants with the tools and confidence to design and implement drama-based lesson plans after the program’s completion. The one-on-one nature of this training program ensures that the specific goals and learnings can be targeted to fit each individual practitioner and classroom. By scaffolding learning over a multi-year period, Childsplay programs provide teachers with tangible, useful resources that can effectively expand their toolbox of teaching strategies.
What teachers say:
“The children are acting it out, taking ownership and dissecting the book, using all of their senses. I see it carried out in their play during the rest of the day. Comprehension is really, really high and the parents are sharing that. The kids are going home and talking about it. The parents will be in the classroom and look at the books and say, ‘ohhh, that is the story that they were talking about.’”
“One of our goals with ELL children to increase their expressive language skills-how much vocabulary they use-how much they can talk to us. All of a sudden we get all of these answers from these kids. Kids who usually don’t talk were all involved!”
“We have a boy who is developmentally slower than the rest and we can see he is making connections through the pantomime and through using expressive language-so we know that he is really getting it through his receptive and expressive language-he is not just regurgitating-he is also coming up with his own ideas.”
Budget: All of Childsplay’s programs and budgets are customized for school’s individual needs and goals. The cost of the program starts at $3,000 per classroom , which includes over 50 hours of PD per teacher. Childsplay works with schools and districts to assist in obtaining grants to help support collaborations.