Play and Learning in Early Childhood

4 Clock Hours / 0.4 CEUs / $30.00

Play and Learning course photo

Course Description

This course applies to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

In this course you will learn the fundamental role of play in young children’s cognitive, physical, and social–emotional development. You will learn how to facilitate children’s learning in ways that promote independence, curiosity, and motivation. This course offers guidance on setting up learning environments and selecting play materials for children based on their developmental stage.

See the learning outcomes and topics below for more information on what is covered in this course.

Image for Online Course
Play and Learning in Early Childhood
Online Course - English
Course ID:
Clock hours:
Image for CourseBook
Play and Learning in Early Childhood
CourseBook - English
Course ID:
Clock hours:

Course formats

This course is offered in both our coursebook (with required online component/testing) and our fully online format. The online format of this course includes audio narration in most course sections. Click here to learn more about Care Courses' training formats.


This course is accepted for child care professional development training requirements in most states and for the CDA credential and for CDA renewal training requirements.

Learning outcomes

After you complete this course, you will able to explain the role of play in children’s development and learning; recognize the teacher’s role in maximizing the benefits of free, guided, and teacher-directed play; recognize the importance of providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment; and identify the benefits of different types of play.

Topics covered

  • Play and brain development
  • Play and domains of development
  • Social understanding
  • Free, guided, and teacher-directed play
  • Facilitating learning through play
  • Choosing play materials
  • Factors that decrease playtime
  • Stages of play
  • Object play
  • Physical play
  • Pretend play
  • Creative play
  • Play that includes music
  • Outdoor play

Want to learn more? Read our blog: "The Benefits of Play in Early Childhood"


Must be able to fluently read and write English.

Instructional methodology: 

Read written material, view videos, and listen to audio segments.

Assessment methods: 

Multiple choice quiz and written assignments.

Completion deadline

This training expires 12 months from the date of purchase. Courses must be successfully completed by their expiration date in order for the student to receive a certificate.

Care Courses information

Care Courses has free unlimited assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, nine to five Eastern Time for help with your training or for billing and technical support questions. Or email us days, evenings and weekends:,, or Our friendly support team is here to help!

Care Courses currently offers over 40 professional development courses and one non-credit training tutorial on the CDA process. All courses offer clock hours and an official online certificate of completion. The free CDA tutorial does not offer clock hours or a certificate.

Care Courses' course tuition entitles one person to receive the clock hours granted by a course upon successful completion.  Bundle pricing covers tuition for all the courses included in a bundle.

To receive the CEUs and Clock Hours for a course, you must adhere to and sign our honor code, follow directions on written assignments and show comprehension of the course content. You must make 70% or better on all course quizzes. Less than 70% will result in trainer review and evaluation. If review indicates the need for discussion, you will be informed that you must speak with a trainer. You will be given a second chance to make 70% or better. Should you fail to do so, you will receive a letter indicating that you did not pass the course and may not retake the course for 12 months.

Clock hours and CEUs are documented on official Care Courses certificates of completion which are accessed in the My Courses area of your account.

Please note: All course and certificate dates and times are on Eastern Time. 

More information on how Care Courses works can be found on our training process page. For a video tutorial of our online course portal, please visit our course navigation video.

Click to view our minimum system requirements. (Click to view our Return and Refund Policies, Privacy and Security Policies and our Honor Code & Policy).