Tag: terms of art

Play Is In The Child, Not The Toy

The phrase ‘Play Is In The Child, Not The Toy’ encapsulates the idea that real play sprouts from the player’s interests, curiosity, and knowledge of the world, and not from the physical objects with which they engage.

On Tilt

On Tilt is a term of art, originally from the game of poker, that refers to a state of emotional or mental arousal that results in questionable decision making and adoption of less-than-optimal strategy. The term adapts nicely to the world of early learning and can be adopted in reference to both caregivers and children who are emotionally or mentally aroused to the point of making ineffective decisions.


An Educrat is a bureaucrat or administrator working in the field of education. The term is a portmanteau combining the words educator and bureaucrat. The

Lizard Brain

Lizard Brain is a lighthearted way to refer to the brain’s limbic cortex–the seat of emotion, addiction, mood, and lots of other mental and emotional


Plangry is a term of art describing play anger. In Plangry play, players pretend to express anger and related strong emotions. This play attempts masking Play Face with I Want To Eat You Face. Such play may seem very real to an observer since much of the activity revolves around recreating the body language, facial expressions, language, and tone of real anger.


Plop refers to the practice of introducing new materials into an early learning environment by simply placing them in the space for children to discover. This practice is based on the understanding that children are natural explorers drawn to novelty in their environments. 


Glirpies refers to the never-to-be-fully-cleaned up mess left behind after young children use glitter. Usage Examples: “Tiffany did a project with the toddlers three days


Piniculum is a sarcastic term used to describe early learning curriculum comprised of stuff a teacher saw on Pinterest and thought was cute. A piniculum


Craptivity is a descriptive term, used by some in the early learning profession, to describe activities, (often craft projects) that: Focus more on the appearance

Play Face

Play Face is a term used to describe an often-seen expression on the faces of humans and other mammals engaged in play. Children exhibiting Play

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