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Play Nicely: Additional Details

What's on the CD?

Program content for the 40-minute Play Nicely CD comes partly from three organizations: the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We obtained input from dozens of experts in the areas of pediatrics, child psychology and early child education. Due to their "front-line" experience, the author has given particularly strong weight to input from experienced teachers.

To teach the basics of managing hurtful behavior, Play Nicely consists of narration video clips.

CD content summary

  • Separate introductions and narration for different learners
  • Definition of hurtful behavior/aggression
  • Importance of managing hurtful behavior in the early years
  • Six major teaching points with video clips to enhance learning 
  1. Teach children not to be victims.
  2. Learn 16 alternative responses to hurtful behavior. Build a large cognitive database to help choose appropriate options.
  3. Decrease exposure to violence.
  4. Show love.
  5. Be consistent when communicating with the child's care givers.
  6. Recognize warning signs and know when to seek professional help.

Who can use Play Nicely?

Play Nicely is an option for anyone cares for young children. The program has widespread applicability for parents, child care workers, teachers, health care professionals, counselors, researchers, lecturers and others.

The Play Nicely CD-ROM includes three separate tracks for

  • Parents
  • Childcare workers and teachers
  • Health care professionals and counselors

Play Nicely's format also makes it useful to:

  • Lecturers
  • Researchers
  • Credentialing organizations
  • Others who care for young children
  • Parents: The Play Nicely program is a great option for parents of children aged 1 to 7. Parents reported that they felt more comfortable managing aggression after a Play Nicely presentation.

Childcare workers and teachers

Childcare workers, preschool teachers and elementary teachers will benefit from aggression management skills. Play Nicely can help adults help children's readiness for school; it is difficult to teach children who are hitting each other. Play Nicely increases comfort level and knowledge of managing hurtful behavior in young children.

At home

Print the handout (attached here) and give it to parents, teachers and child care providers. The handout includes English and Spanish versions.

At school or child care

If you would like parents, teachers, or childcare providers to view the program in your school or care center, contact the Office of Technology Transfer at Vanderbilt ( to purchase a site license.

Health care professionals: Play Nicely has been shown to significantly increase professionals' comfort level and knowledge in managing childhood aggression. 

In your clinic

We have found that many parents will not view the program at home. Our experience shows that parents will view the program in a clinic as part of the routine well child visit or in the Family Resource Center.

If you would like parents to view the program in your clinic examination room, waiting room, education room, or clinic resource center, contact the Office of Technology Transfer at Vanderbilt to purchase a site license.


The Play Nicely program navigation makes it useful for those who lecture on parenting, early child education, child behavior and health.


Consider Play Nicely as part of intervention programs designed to improve child behavior or decrease violence.

Credentialing organizations

Consider Play Nicely for educational credit for child care workers and preschool teachers. To aid credentialing organizations, questions have been developed to assess knowledge.


Relatives, babysitters, Sunday school teachers, school bus drivers and others who care for young children may benefit from aggression management skills.