Power of Play in Enhancing Literacy Development.


Many families are in the midst of gift-giving season, our days are shorter with more time spent indoors, and some children will soon find themselves perhaps with a couple of weeks of fairly unstructured playtime. This is a great time to think about capitalizing on the power of play to enhance your child’s literacy development.

Children are often naturally drawn to activities that allow them to explore and play with literacy. My own children would play restaurant or create comic strips and I found that if I had materials such as notepads, pens, props, etc. available to them, they would engage in unprompted imaginative and literacy-rich play. It is clear that when children are offered experiences with literacy-related resources, they act in literate ways. Consider gifting these games and materials to support play encompassing listening, speaking, reading, and writing:

  • Different types of paper

  • Magnadoodle

  • Letter stamps

  • Magnetic letters

  • Collapsible desk for car rides

  • Dress up clothes

  • Sidewalk chalk

  • Bathtub crayons

  • Pencil/marker sets

  • Easel

  • High quality picture books

  • Scrabble

  • Boggle

  • Apples to Apples

  • Balderdash

  • Bananagrams

  • Heads Up

  • Scattergories

And don’t forget all the literacy learning opportunities and activities to engage in with your children. For times when your children do need a little more direction and parent support...

  • Make a shopping list

  • Make a cozy reading fort

  • Shop for books as gifts for others

  • Write poems or stories to give as gifts

  • Take books along on road when traveling

  • Visit the library

  • Listen to audiobooks as a family during travel

  • Read and cook recipes together

  • Write thank you notes

  • Start a book club with friends and plan a party to discuss what you read

  • Sing, draw & tell stories

  • Email or send letters to friends and family

  • Keep up your nightly reading routines


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