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Play and early writing refers to a practice in early childhood education in which play and writing practices are combined in a manner to enhance early writing and literacy development. There is convergent research evidence that (a) young children produce meaningful representations of their knowledge, thoughts, and emotions through their writings and drawings and (b) writing during play promotes children’s reading, writing, language, and cognitive development. There is also convergent evidence that writing is underutilized in prekindergarten and kindergarten. When given opportunities to write during play, children explore oral and written language, apply what they learn about reading and writing, and engage in authentic writing experiences. This entry first explores what constitutes writing in the early childhood context and suggests ways in which educators can ...

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