The Kindergarten Program Document states:
High quality instruction in mathematics and high quality free play need not compete for time in the classroom. Engaging in both makes each richer, and children benefit in every way.
(Sarama & Clements, 2009a, p. 331)
Research supports the understanding that mathematics experiences occur naturally as children play. During play, young children spontaneously measure, sort, classify, estimate, pattern, count, and more (Ginsberg, 2006; Sarama & Clements, 2008; Seo & Ginsberg, 2004; Hunting 2010). However, the presence alone of mathematics in play is insufficient for rich learning to occur. Intentional, purposeful teacher interactions are necessary to ensure that mathematical learning is maximized during play (Baroody, Lai, & Mix, 2006; deVries, Thomas, & Warren, 2007; Balfanz, 1999; Ginsburg, Lee, & Boyd, 2008). (p.75)