What brings parents and children from all over the city to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. But there's more to say about Early Literacy! Read on to learn how to enrich your child's learning with meaningful play.
Meaningful play is the act of achieving a specific goal through play. For example, Physical Education in school is aiming for healthier students through playing fun, active games. In the years from 0 to 5 your child is always learning, therefore meaningful play is possible all the time. Your goal should be to provide lots of opportunities and then - stay out of the way.
One way to make sure you’re providing opportunities for meaningful play is to offer your child open-ended toys. Blocks made of wood or foam can become anything your child imagines - a cell phone, a bus, or even a zebra. However, a toy cell phone usually remains a cell phone. Allow your child’s imagination to determine the play, not the toys.
Offer uninterrupted blocks of time in your daily schedule for your child to get lost in play. The chance to become fully immersed in the world she creates through play offers your child a chance to take risks and learn about her world in a safe setting.
You can 'stay out of the way' by allowing your child to determine the outcomes when playing. It’s very difficult to not jump in when little Timmy is toppling every structure before it’s as tall as you know he could build it; and even more difficult to avoid, as tall as you could build it. Yet, allowing your child to make his own decisions when playing assures that he will stop the game or make-believe session when he has achieved his goals, not because you changed the flow and he simply lost interest.
Be sure to check our Pinterest page for lots of ideas to keep your little one playing and learning and growing. Then sit back and watch for at this age, it’s all meaningful. Enjoy every minute!