Through play, kids can learn about emotional intelligence, or how to process their feelings and share them in constructive ways. Books like Three Grumpy Trucks by Todd Tarpley can start a conversation about the best way to play and express oneself.
Notes from Story Time Category: Playing
Just remember, getting your child ready to read is as simple as “talk, sing, read, write, and play.” Have fun by singing a jump rope rhyme! You don’t need a rope; you can just have fun jumping!
Ice cream soda,
What kind of food
Will I have for lunch?
A, B, C, D, E…
The letter you stop jumping on is the first letter of your lunch food! Talk about what kinds of food start with that letter, and what food your child likes.
Play offers so many enjoyable opportunities to develop language. It helps children learn to think symbolically, like when they use a banana as a phone. This kind of thinking is used in language all the time and will help as they are learning to read!
Using the rhyme below with your child, pretend your hands are blocks. This symbolic play promotes your child’s creativity. It also teaches them that one object can represent another object in the same way that print words stand for real objects.
I take my little wooden blocks (make fist)
And stack them one by one. (place fists over and over on top of each other)
I stack them higher, higher (raise fists, still stacking)
And when my task is done, I’ve made some big tall buildings (arms over head)
Just like they have downtown. I give a push. (jab forward with index finger)
They start to sway… (arms raised, sway body back and forth)
CRASH! (clap hands)
They all fall down! (arms fall to sides, or children fall to floor)
One benefit of playing make-believe at home (besides being so fun) is that it encourages vocabulary and language development. The cool characters and settings that we see so often in picture books, such as With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Drive, can inspire new ideas for playtime. Are you ready to be a construction worker or a fire fighter?