WE PLAY stands for Wellness Enhancing Physical Activity for Young Children. This course is designed to provide early childhood educators with tools and support to facilitate active play with preschool children. WE PLAY offers strategies for incorporating physically active play into preschool, including adaptations for children with autism spectrum disorder.
We Play was designed to help early learning professionals increase their understanding about how physical activity helps young children, to give them new ideas for fun and easy games that can be played with children ages 3-5 years, and to expand their confidence and skills leading physically active play.
While adults may think that preschoolers get plenty of physical activity, research shows that many preschoolers are actually not active enough. Physical activity benefits multiple areas of child development, including: enhanced cognitive functioning; positive physical and mental health; learning and academic success; and improved classroom behavior. It is also a key strategy to promote healthy weight.
WE PLAY is a CDA accepted, CEU eligible course through Better Kid Care. See the status of course approvals in your state at http://bit.ly/BKCinyourstate.
On Demand professional development courses are available at no cost. $5.00 is charged for most certificates of completion.
Schmidt, E. M., Hoffman, J. A., Mule, C., & Briesch, A. M. (2021). Effects of a teacher training program to promote physically active play among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of School Psychology, 85, 57-79.
Schmidt, E. M., Hoffman, J. A., Mulé, C. & Briesch, A. M (2020, May). Effects Of A Teacher Training Program To Promote Physical Activity Among Preschoolers With Autism. Oral presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting. San Francisco, CA. (Abstract published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 52(5) Supplement.)
Hoffman, J. A., Schmidt, E. M., Arguello, D. J., Eyllon, M. N., Castaneda-Sceppa, C., Cloutier, G, & Hillman, C. H. (2020). Online preschool teacher training to promote physical activity: A pilot cluster randomized controlled trial. School Psychology, 35(2),118-127.
Hoffman, J. A. & Schmidt, E. M. (2019, February). WE PLAY: Promoting physical activity among preschoolers. Paper presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists annual convention, Atlanta, GA.
Hoffman, J. A., Schmidt, E. M., Castaneda-Sceppa, C., & Hillman, C. H. (2019). The theoretical foundation, fidelity, feasibility, and acceptability of a teacher training to promote physical activity among preschoolers in child care: A pilot study. Preventive Medicine Reports, 13, 214-217.
Schmidt, E. S., Hoffman, J. A., Mulé, C., & Briesch, A. M. (in press). Adapting a Preschool Physical Activity Intervention to Be Inclusive of Children on the Autism Spectrum. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.
WE PLAY was supported with funding from the Healthy Weight Research Network and the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation.
If you have questions about We Play, please contact us at [email protected].
The We Play team is made up of a group of faculty members and graduate students at Northeastern University with expertise in psychology, exercise science, kinesiology, computer science, and public health. Members of our team have been working for many years with colleagues at Head Start to promote children’s health and wellness, and the idea for We Play was inspired by and informed through these collaborations.