by Jean Boone, Central Branch
“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.” said Fred Rogers.
By definition, PLAY is FUN but that doesn’t make it unimportant. For a child’s development, it’s serious business. Play feeds a child’s imagination and creativity, and it helps them explore and discover their capabilities and their world. As it spurs brain development, play becomes a pathway for learning and creates the foundation for literacy and school readiness.
To support children and their families in growing and learning through play, we offer some incredible resources.
The toy collection includes more than 300 wide-ranging, developmentally appropriate and safe items:
- Does your child love pretend play? Borrow a wooden sandwich-building set or the bilingual (English-Spanish) EnSALADa play set for some imaginative cooking!
- Is your child always on the move? Take home a parachute, trucks and other vehicles, and push and pull toys for building motor skills.
- Help your child learn their letters, numbers, shapes and colors with toys like the Counting Carrots Stacker, Rocket Shape Sorter, or Oscar the Grouch stacking cans.
- Encourage storytelling with a set of puppets like the Three Billy Goats Gruff or Peppa and George Pig, or music-making with My First Piano or the Hedgehog Accordion.
- Promote problem-solving with all kinds of puzzles, for toddlers to kindergartners.
Literacy Activity Kits combine themed books, toys, games, and hands-on activities that are both educational and entertaining. Created for three distinct age groups, the kits also include a bilingual parent guide with ideas for how to engage your child with these materials.
For 0-4 year olds, kits focus on essential concepts with books, music, and toys:
Numbers and Shapes
Colors and Letters
Bilingual English and Spanish
Things that Go
For 5-7 year olds, kits contain books and problem-solving projects and games:
The Three Little Pigs
The Gingerbread Man
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
Fun with Words
Dive into Dolphins and Sharks
For 8-10 year olds, kits offer books, worksheets, and games that strengthen literacy skills:
Super Spelling and Wonderful Writing
Stretch Your Storytelling
Pass the Poetry
Focus on Fluency
All of these materials can be borrowed for three weeks, just like a book. Come into your nearest branch and bring home some serious fun!
Jean B. is a Children’s Instructor and Research Specialist at the Central Branch and loves reading books for all ages when she isn’t enjoying the outdoors.