3-4 Years References

This page contains a full list of all the studies and research papers that were used in the creation of the 3-4 years Busy Brains Activity Packs. These findings inspired the compilation of the educational play ideas that are found inside. 

Aha! Discovery Learning Activities for Early Childhood Education Bright Hub Education, 2019. [Viewed: 12 July 2019] Available from:   https://www.brighthubeducation.com/teaching-preschool/120548-discovery-learning-in-the-preschool-classroom/

Arrow, A.W. & McLachlan, C.J. The development of phonological awareness and letter knowledge in young New Zealand children Speech, Language and Hearing [Online] ResearchGate. 2014. Vol.17 No.1, Pages: 49-57 [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from: file:///C:/Users/110717/Downloads/ArrowMcLachlan2013%20(1).pdf

Bloom, P. & German, T.P. Two reasons to abandon the false belief task as a test of theory of mind Cognition [Online] Elsevier. 2000. Vol. 77, No. 1, Pages: 25-31 [Viewed: 13 July 2019] Available from:



Bohning, G. & Althouse, J.K. Using tangrams to teach geometry to young children Early Childhood Educ J [Online] Springer Link. 1997. Vol.24. No.4. Pages: 239-242. [Viewed: 14 July 2019] Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02354839#citeas

Both-de Vries AC, Bus AG. Name writing: A first step to phonetic writing? Does the name have a special role in understanding the symbolic function of writing? Literacy Teaching and Learning. Literacy Teaching and Learning [Online] ERIC. 2008. Vol.12. No. 2. Pages: 37–55. [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ899643.pdf

Both-de Vries, A. C., & Bus, A. G. The proper name as starting point for basic reading skills. Reading and writing [Online] NCBI. 2010. Vol.23. No.2. Pages: 173–187. [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815302/

Brown, T. T., & Jernigan, T. L. Brain development during the preschool years. Neuropsychology review [Online] NCBI. 2012. Vol.22 No.4. Pages: 313–333. [Viewed: 27 June 2019] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511633/

Bruce, C. D. The role of 2D and 3D mental rotation in mathematics for young children: what is it? Why does it matter? And what can we do about it? ZDM Mathematics Education [Online] CrossMark. 2015 Vol.47 Pages: 331–343 [Viewed: 14 July 2019] Available from: https://wordpress.oise.utoronto.ca/robertson/files/2016/08/The-role-of-2D-and-3D-mental-rotation-in-mathematics-for-young-children-what-is-it-Why-does-it-matter-And-what-can-we-do-about-it.pdf  

Bruner McLeod, S. 2019. [Viewed: 12 July 2019] Available from: https://www.simplypsychology.org/bruner.html

Child brain development Blows, W. T. 2003 [Viewed: 27 June 2019] Available from:


Daily Inspiration Huie, J.L. Date unknown. [Viewed: 5 July 2019] Available from:   http://www.inspiration-daily.com/said/shall-never-know-good-simple-76/

Decety J: The Neurodevelopment of Empathy in Humans. Developmental Neuroscience [Online] Karger. 2010. Vol.32. Pages: 257-267. [Viewed: 3 July 2019] Available from: https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/317771


Deciphering facial expressions for kids: Can we help children read emotions? Dewar, G. 2009 [Viewed: 5 July 2019] Available from: https://www.parentingscience.com/facial-expressions-for-kids.html


Do Boys Need Rough and Tumble Play? Kennedy-Moore, E. 2015. [Viewed: 13 July 2019] Available from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/growing-friendships/201506/do-boys-need-rough-and-tumble-play


Dunst, C. J. & Gorman, E. Development of Infant and Toddler Mark Making and Scribbling CELL Reviews [Online] Center for Early Literacy Learning. 2009. Vol.2. No.2 [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from: http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/cellreviews/cellreviews_v2_n2.pdf


Ellefson, M. R., Treiman, R., & Kessler, B. Learning to label letters by sounds or names: a comparison of England and the United States. Journal of experimental child psychology [Online] NCBI. 2009. Vol.102 No.3, Pages: 323–341. [Viewed: 12 July 2019] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671388/


False Belief Test Psychology Concepts 2017. [Viewed: 13 July 2019] Available from: http://www.psychologyconcepts.com/false-belief-test/


Fivush, Robyn & Wang, Qi. Emotion Talk in Mother-Child Conversations of the Shared Past: The Effects of Culture, Gender, and Event Valence. Journal of Cognition and Development [Online] Semantic Scholar. 2005, Vol. 6, No.4, Pages:489–506 [Viewed: 12 July 2019] Available from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9912/cd4982580a4135dda5f090a111b41e31aa5a.pdf


Flanders, J. L., Leo, V., Paquette, D., Pihl, R. O., & Séguin, J. R. Rough-and-tumble play and the regulation of aggression: an observational study of father-child play dyads. Aggressive behaviour [Online] NCBI, 2009. Vol.35 No.4, Pages: 285–295. [Viewed: 13 July 2019] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3283567/


Howard, J. & McInnes, K. The impact of children's perception of an activity as play rather than not play on emotional well‐being Child: Care, Health and Development [Online] Wiley. 2012. Vol.39. No. 5. Pages: 737-742. [Viewed: 3 July 2019] Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2012.01405.x

Learning to Read and Write: What Research Reveals National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Date unknown. [Viewed: 2 July 2019] Available from: https://www.readingrockets.org/article/learning-read-and-write-what-research-reveals

Leppänen, J. M., & Nelson, C. A. Tuning the developing brain to social signals of emotions. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, [Online] NCBI. 2009. Vol.10 No.1, Pages: 37–47. [Viewed: 15 July 2019] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2976651/

McMahon Giles, R. and Wellhousen Tunks, K. Children Write Their World: Environmental Print as a Teaching Tool Dimensions of Early Childhood. [Online] Southern Early Childhood. 2010. Vol. 38. No. 3. [Viewed: 15 July 2019] Available from:


Number Sense Series: Developing Early Number Sense Way, J. 2005. [Viewed: 3 July 2019] Available from: https://nrich.maths.org/2477


Parents Loog Guitars. 2019. [Viewed: 16 July 2019] Available from:



Preschool science activities Dewar, G. 2008. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from:



Ramani, G. B. and Siegler, R. S. Promoting Broad and Stable Improvements in Low‐Income Children’s Numerical Knowledge Through Playing Number Board Games. Child Development, [Online] Wiley Online Library. 2008. Vol.79. No. 2. Pages: 375-394. [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from:



Sand Play Childcare Committee County Kildare. Date unknown. [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from:



Science for kids: An evidence-based guide to fostering curiosity and scientific thinking Dewar, G. 2008. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from: https://www.parentingscience.com/science-for-kids.html


Siegler, R. S., & Ramani, G. B. Playing Linear Number Board Games — But Not Circular Ones — Improves Low-Income Preschoolers ’ Numerical Understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology [Online] Semantic Scholar. 2009. Vol. 101. No. 3, Pages: 545–560 [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Playing-Linear-Number-Board-Games-%E2%80%94-But-Not-Ones-%E2%80%94-Mello-Watson/bb9a76856e6c0f0aff2135c1ec44392565e123e0

Tangrams for kids: Educational tips and a printable tangram template Dewar, G. 2018. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from: https://www.parentingscience.com/tangrams-for-kids.html


Teaching critical thinking: An evidence-based guide Dewar, G. 2009. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from: https://www.parentingscience.com/teaching-critical-thinking.html


The Development of Creative Art Abilities in 3- to 5-Year-Olds EXtension (specific author unknown). 2015. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from: https://articles.extension.org/pages/25732/the-development-of-creative-art-abilities-in-3-to-5-year-olds


The Importance of Story Retelling Campbell, J. 2013 [Viewed: 2 July 2019] Available from:


The smiling baby flowchart Raisingchildren.net.au. Date Unknown.  [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from: https://raisingchildren.net.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0033/36969/smiling_baby_flowchart2.pdf


Treiman, R. & Broderick, V. What’s in a Name: Children’s Knowledge about the Letters in Their Own Names Journal of Experimental Child Psychology [Online] 1998. Vol.70. Pages: 97–116. [Viewed: 9 July 2019] Available from: https://pages.wustl.edu/files/pages/imce/readingandlanguagelab/Treiman%20%26%20Broderick%20%281998%29%20-%20What%27s%20in%20a%20name.pdf


Verdine, B.N., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Newcombe, N.S. Finding the missing piece: Blocks, puzzles, and shapes fuel school readiness, Trends in Neuroscience and Education, [Online] CiteSeerX 2014. Vol. 3. No. 1. Pages 7-13, [Viewed: 14 July 2019] Available from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=


Wagman, J. B., Zimmerman, C., & Sorric, C. “Which Feels Heavier—A Pound of Lead or a Pound of Feathers?” A Potential Perceptual Basis of a Cognitive Riddle. Perception [Online] SiteCeerX. 2007. Vol.36 No.11, Pages: 1709–1711. [Viewed: 14 July 2019] Available from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=


What Kids Can Learn From A Water Balloon Fight Kamenetz, A. 2014. [Viewed: 13 July 2019] Available from: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/06/25/325218402/what-kids-can-learn-from-a-water-balloon-fight?t=1562999878331


Whitebread, David & Neale, Dave & Jensen, Hanne & Liu, Claire & Lynneth Solis, S & Hopkins, Emily & Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy & Zosh, Jennifer. The role of play in children's development: a review of the evidence. [Online] ResearchGate. 2017. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325171537_The_role_of_play_in_children's_development_a_review_of_the_evidence


Worth, K. Science in Early Childhood Classrooms: Content and Process SEED Papers [Online] ECRP. 2010. [Viewed: 4 July 2019] Available from:


Young, S. Collaboration between 3- and 4-year-olds in self-initiated play on instruments. International Journal of Educational Research [Online] ScienceDirect. 2008. Vol. 47, No. 1, Pages: 3-10. [Viewed: 16 July 2019] Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883035508000220

Your Child’s Brain Development: 3 to 5 Years Mead Johnson Nutrition. 2019. [Viewed: 27 June 2019] Available from:


6 Things You Need to Know About Empathy Streep, P. 2017. [Viewed: 3 July 2019] Available from:


10 reasons you should take up a musical instrument Classic FM 2018. [Viewed: 16 July 2019] Available from: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/reasons-to-play-a-musical-instrument/