Wednesday, March 11, 2015

GET OUT! No, Really, Get Out.

Spring might not officially start until next week, but for those of us here in Ohio, where the winter has been long and fierce, the 50-degree temperatures that we’re seeing this week make us want to run outside in shorts and t-shirts and jump for joy! I’m sure that a much-needed trip to the park is on the schedule of many families with little ones who’ve been cooped up for the last several months. This is the one time of the year that I won’t be offended if parents choose a trip to the park over a visit to the library. ;)

Seriously though, playing is actually one of the best ways for kids to learn language and literacy skills. This may sound too good to be true, but it’s just good AND true! For one, pretend play helps children think symbolically. The ability to imagine that a swing is a rocket ship or a little brother is a dinosaur allows kids to use their imagination when listening to stories and even helps them to tell their own stories. Plus, the ability to understand that one thing can stand for another helps children realize that written words can represent real objects. That’s an important idea for pre-readers to grasp.

After a trip to the park, encouraging children to talk about their experiences—what they did there, what their favorite parts were, what they might do next time—helps them develop narrative skills.

So, thaw out and do some playing, and then remember to come back to the library to visit us again soon!

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