Experiments with Play and Learn in The Nursery

Experiments with Play and Learn

Can a pedagogic, curriculum-based course about playing and learning in the nursery strengthen children’s linguistic, cognitive, social and personal skills? Experiments with Play and Learn in the nursery are focused on the interaction between nursery nurses and children aged 0-2 years old to strengthen the children’s development.

Time period:


Target group:

0-2-year-old children in nurseries.

Number of participants:

Six municipalities, 88 institutions, approximately 2.500 children.


The intervention lasts 20 weeks and is based on a so-called “open” curriculum, aimed at creating more high-quality interactions between adults and children. The intervention takes its starting point in five themes relevant for children’s lives and for each theme, words and concepts are chosen for the nurses to work with. It is the nurses who choose, plan and accomplish the activities within each theme with basis in their pedagogic knowledge and familiarity with the individual child. Furthermore, the project provides supplementing illustrations for the children and pedagogic tools for the nurses, which are supposed to support them in using different strategies to involve the children actively in conversations. An important aspect of the intervention is that the nurse’s attention – and thus the children’s opportunity for learning – is adjusted for the individual child.

Besides strengthening the nurses in their everyday habits, the intervention consists of four weekly structured activities between the nurses and the children called “Immersion activities”. Two activities focus on language and two activities focus on numbers. Furthermore, the nurses are supposed to create exploration zones for the children to stimulate the children’s curiosity.    


The effect of Experiments with Play and Learn in the nursery is randomized controled trial. Among the participating nurseries, the intervention or the general practice is distributed by draw.

Nurses will evaluate the children’s linguistic and social development as well as their ability to solve problems before and after the intervention using acknowledged surveys. These evaluations will be supplemented by data on the parents’ background from Statistics Denmark. Furthermore, the nurses’ work with the intervention is videotaped to learn more about implementation of the intervention.


Rambøll Management Consulting.


Expected in 2016.


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