Friday, May 10, 2013

Early Literacy Fun - Playing

Fred Rogers said that “Play is the work of childhood”. Through play children learn cause and effect, social skills, and of course hone their creativity and language skills. Dramatic play gives children the opportunity to practice their narrative skills as they play act different situations and characters - be it a princess, doctor or cowboy. Play can also help develop both fine motor and gross motor skills - and playing together helps to build those essential relationships between child and caregiver. Here are some easy ways to play with your child today!

  • Create a dress-up trunk for dramatic play out of hand me down clothes and fun finds from the thrift store.
  • Used canned goods to play store together. you can make a shopping list maybe even use an old checkbook to write a check for what you “buy”
  • Building blocks are a fun way to discuss shapes, colors and learn about cause and effect. How high can you build a tower?
  • Create a sensory bin out of a storage bin with water, sand or even cooked pasta noodles, plastic toys and items from nature to play with.
  • Try this easy recipe for homemade play dough then use it to shape into letters or animals to spell words and tell stories.
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1.5 cups salt
    • 6 tsp. cream of tartar
    • 3 tbsp. oil
    • 3 cups water
    • Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until a dough ball forms by pulling away from the sides. Knead dough until the texture matches play dough (1-2 minutes). Store in plastic container. Should last for at least 3 months.
  • String Fruit Loops, Cheerios and Lifesavers on a string for a fun snack that also builds fine motor skills.
  • Act out the story from one of your favorite picture books.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt around the house and set out clues for the kids to find using shapes and simple words leading to a treasure or treat at the end.
  • Play classic card and board games together like Old Maid, Uno and Candy Land.
  • Make a game out of sorting recyclables or dirty laundry! The kids learn useful classification skills about colors and textures, and you get a little extra help with the housework.

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