|Who likes to play pretend? One benefit of playing make-believe at home (besides being so fun) is that it encourages vocabulary and narrative skills, which are important pre-reading skills. The cool characters and settings that we see in picture books like Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Porter by can inspire new ideas for playtime.
Notes from Story Time Category: Playing
The most critical aspect of play as it relates to language development is that children learn to think symbolically. They learn that one thing, like a block, can represent another thing, like a phone. This is the same kind of thinking that allows them to understand that a picture or the written word represents the real thing. When children engage in pretend play, as seen in Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales, they are thinking symbolically.
–Tip by Erin Emerick, Youth Programming Coordinator
Most children enjoy playing with dirt, sand, mud, water, and other materials with different textures, sounds, and smells. Such play develops the senses. Ask your child questions about what he or she is doing? How does it feel? What does she smell? What sounds can he make? This will improve your child’s narrative and vocabulary skills.
–Tip by Keary Bramwell, Youth Collection Librarian