Notes from Story Time Category: Playing

Let’s Make Pretend Cake

Many stories offer a chance for you to play with the concepts in the book. In A Birthday for Cow by Jan Thomas, the animals make a cake. Incorporating props such as a mixing bowl and spoon into the reading of the story, or retelling the story afterwards will help children understand the story better, and have fun at the same time.

Playtime

Allow your child time for free play. Provide a variety of toys and objects that are safe for babies, and let them direct how they want to play with the object. Even if it just looks like they are putting a toy in their mouth or knocking things over, they are learning!

Make-Believe Play

One type of play is make-believe play. When children are engaging in imaginative play, ask them to tell you about what they are doing. This will help them practice telling stories, which builds narrative and vocabulary skills. When you have a conversation with them and add to their stories, you are enhancing those skills.

Five Pets in the Window

From birth, babies play to learn about their world. Not only is playing with your baby a good bonding experience, but it is also one of the best ways for babies to learn language and literacy skills and build motor skills.

There are many fun counting rhymes.  Play a game with your baby’s stuffed animals by lining them up in a row. Take one animal away each time you say the rhyme.

 

Five Pets in the Window

Five pets in the window for the whole world to see.

Look, someone is coming, who says,

“You’re the perfect pet for me.

 

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.