Notes from Story Time Category: Playing

Acting Out Stories

Play offers many enjoyable opportunities to develop language. The most critical aspect of play as it relates to language development is that children learn to think symbolically. They learn that one thing can represent another thing. It is this very kind of thinking that is used in language.

Have your child use his/her whole body to act out Pepito the Brave.  This will help your child internalize and understand what is happening in the story. This process will later help them understand what they read.

Playing With Books

When children are young, they treat books as they would any other toy—they play with them! They may put them in their mouths or even tear them. When you allow children to explore books, they are learning how to handle them. It takes time and practice for kids to learn how to hold books and turn the pages.

You Are My Sunshine

Kinesthetic learning (or tactile learning) is a learning style in which learning takes place through physical activity and play.  As you sing You Are My Sunshine, add motions as you sing.  This will help your child remember the words and make it more meaningful.

One Hot Summer Day

Play is critical for the development of imagination and creative problem-solving skills. Children love to climb, run, and jump. Getting outside in the summer gives kids the opportunity to use their large motor skills and their imaginations.The children in One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews participate in many examples of outdoor play. Use these adventurous characters as inspiration to get outdoors this summer and have some fun.

Rainbow Fun

Remember, playing, talking, singing, reading, and writing are five simple practices to help your child on the path to reading. After reading aloud Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, talk about the colors of the rainbow.  Then ask your child to draw a rainbow.  Learning how to hold a crayon correctly is one of the first steps in learning how to write.  Afterwards, encourage your child to plant a make-believe garden full of the flowers found in the book.

Let’s Do Yoga

Play is described as one of the best ways children can learn language and literacy skills. It is the leading source of development in the early years. We are wired to learn through movement—so when your children move, they are building the structures in their brains where more complex learning will later take place. Some books, such as Sleepy Little Yoga by Rebecca Whitford, include ways you can move along, which will keep children engaged and involved during the story. Large motor play, like this and running or climbing, also develops coordination and balance.

I’m a Hungry Dinosaur

Play is critical for the development of imagination and creative problem-solving skills. There are many different types of play such as large motor play and make believe play. Children love to climb, run, and jump. Pretending to be a dinosaur gives them opportunity to use their large motor skills and their imaginations. As you read I’m a Hungry Dinosaur with your child, encourage your child to pretend he/she is a dinosaur making a cake. You can even pretend to eat the cake at the end!

Ready Rabbit Gets Ready!

There are at least twelve types of play, and each one gives your child valuable experiences that translate into improved communication and critical thinking. As you read Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! do some actions from the book together such as building the spaceship, driving a stagecoach, or driving a motorcycle. Have fun with this make-believe play.

 

 

 

Let’s Play Make-Believe

princess-super-kittyWho 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.

 

Imaginary Play

YuyiThe 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