Texas State Summer Play and Inquiry Workshop

For three weeks every June, around 200 students ranging in age from 3 to 8 gather each morning at Bonham Pre-K in San Marcos for a multilingual, multiage, and multicultural program based on exploration and play, an event we call Texas State Summer Play and Inquiry Workshop. This workshop is based on the latest research, which has led faculty from Texas State University to develop a curriculum based on the idea that when children create, build, tell stories, explore, and play, they are building a foundation for algebra, physics, sociology, literacy, and all other disciplines. A cohort of Texas State Early Childhood Education (ECE) interns and faculty work in collaboration with classroom teachers and administrators from San Marcos CISD to make this workshop a safe, fun and freedom-filled reality.

student paint artwork in elementary school hallway

Frequently Asked Questions

Preguntas de Uso Frecuente 

  • The Summer Play and Inquiry Workshop is held at Bonham Pre-Kindergarten School in San Marcos, Texas. Children join us Monday through Thursday, 8:30 – 11:30, for three weeks. For Summer 2023, we will meet from June 12 – June 29.

  • Lugar: Escuela Prescolar Bonham en San Marcos, Texas 

    Fecha:  Del 12 al 29 de Junio

    Horario:  8:30-11:30 am. Lunes a Jueves 

  • Our Play and Inquiry Workshop is designed for children ages 3-8.

  • El Taller de Juego e investigación esta diseñado para niños de  3 a 8 años de edad.


  • Our goals are to create an environment where your children can build toys, objects and props to use in pretend play from recycled materials and to tell stories and act out those stories with new and old friends. Sometimes they build things that they then disassemble or deconstruct. This is fine with us, and it means sometimes they won’t bring anything home. But they often will. Sometimes those things will be unwieldy and messy, but they will have provided for a ton of deep thinking! Of course, they don't HAVE to tell stories, create or build anything. But they probably will! Click the link for more information! What happens with Play & Inquiry?

  • El Taller de Juego e Investigación tiene como meta crear un ambiente en donde los niños usan materiales reciclables para construir juguetes, instrumentos, y objetos que pueden utilizar durante el juego imaginario, y para crear cuentos que actuarán en el escenario con nuevos amigos. La mayor parte del tiempo los niños traerán a casa lo que construyen, pero habrá días en que desensamblen sus creaciones y las dejen en la escuela.  En otras ocasiones, los niños inventarán objetos sin forma específica, lo cual quizás tenga poco sentido para otros, pero esto significa que los inventores han pasado un buen tiempo pensando crítica y profundamente para elaborar cada elemento y parte de su creación.  ¡Por supuesto que no es obligatorio que los niños inventen objetos o cuentos, pero seguramente que lo harán! ¿Qué actividades tendrán para los niños?

  • Click here or click the registration button at the bottom of the page.

    If your child is currently enrolled in Pre-k or kindergarten in San Marcos CISD and qualifies as an emergent bilingual or ESL student, then your child automatically qualifies to attend the Summer Play and Inquiry Workshop.  Registration materials will be sent home by your child’s teacher. 

  • Pulse aquí o utilice el botón situado en la parte inferior de la página

    Los niños que asisten al Pre-K o Kinder en San Marcos CISD y califican como Bilingüe o Estudiantes aprendiendo Inglés, también califican automáticamente para asistir al Taller de Juego e Investigación. Los maestros de Pre-K y Kinder enviarán las formas de registro a casa.

  • You don’t need to send anything with your child. Each day they will find spaces filled with open-ended materials to play and explore. We do invite families to send in bags or boxes with recyclables throughout the workshop: boxes, buttons, bows, toilet paper rolls, etc.

  • No es obligatorio traer nada, el Taller proporciona los materiales reciclables. Sin embargo, si usted gusta puede colaborar enviando objetos reciclables limpios que encuentre en su casa, por ejemplo: botones, cajas grandes o pequeñas, cintas, rollos vacios de papel de baño o toallas de papel, tapas de plástico, etc. 

  • The price for the entire workshop is $110/1 child, $205/2 children, $300/3 children.

  • El precio del Taller completo de 3 semanas es:   $110/1 niño,  $205/2 niños,  $300/3 niños.

We believe that education is a social and cultural event. We believe play provides the most social and cultural possibility for the young. We believe that educationally valuable play happens when students can choose from a variety of OPEN-ENDED MATERIALS to create with and play with. And we believe that children should be able to explore themselves and their world by thinking deeply in their home language using the cultural tools and worldviews they’ve learned from their families to construct THEORIES about the physical and social world, and to continue to test and hone those theories through play.

children's artwork collage

Registration for Summer 2023 is currently full.

If you would like to be placed on a waitlist, please fill out the form below to be contacted if we have spaces open.


Becca Hemenway beccahemenway@txstate.edu

Diane Osborne diosborn@txstate.edu