The Kindergarten Conversation

Pretend Play and Brain Growth

Gesell's Guide for Parents and Teachers

What does it mean to be “ready” for kindergarten? This booklet offers guidance to parents and educators attempting to assess children’s readiness to start kindergarten. The important question of what a ready child looks like is approached through the understanding that every child exists in a system that includes their school, community and family.

Released in 2014, this Gesell booklet discusses the undeniable importance of pretend play in the growth and development of young children. After exploring the definitions and theories of play, it examines the relevant brain research, and explains the long-term academic benefits of pretend play and executive functioning skills. Intended for parents and educators, it includes ideas for promoting pretend/socio-dramatic play at home and in the classroom.

Newly revised and updated to reflect current research and practice, this concise guide explains the importance of a child's overall development in relation to the learning process, the important relationship between home and school, and how this relationship leads to a successful school experience. Also included is an overview on how to determine a quality early childhood program and developmentally appropriate Kindergarten classroom, as well as the role of assessment in understanding the child.