Connecting a Love of Books to Play-Based Learning
Helping Spark Children’s Inspiration
Research shows that reading for pleasure promotes imagination, creativity, relaxation, improved self-esteem, intellectual pleasure, enhanced general knowledge, emotional intelligence and mental health benefits. In addition, reading for pleasure has been found to enhance social interaction and personal relationships; empower children to become active citizens, to improve a sense of connectedness with the wider community and to further tolerance and understanding of other cultures.
The connection between reading and play-based learning is perhaps less obvious. Indeed, some find it hard to imagine that play is one of the most important methods of learning for young children. We know, however, that through play, children learn to make sense of the world around them. Rich experiences of play provide ever-expanding opportunities for children to think critically, develop problem-solving skills and express thoughts and feelings. But did you know that play is also important in the development of language and literacy skills that will help children as they learn to read?
Making the Connection
When we provide stimulating books that children explore independently (with limited or no adult intervention), play-based learning experiences can be enhanced. Thought-provoking books can help guide and support a child’s wonder. Examples include illustrated cookbooks for “kitchen play”, picture books for “home play” and visually-appealing nonfiction and fiction books that build on a child’s natural curiosities.
Ready to spark your child’s life-long love affair with books?
Take the first step: Provide a world of wonder for your child in your home. Surrounding your child with provocations that inspire them to wonder (and later explore, create and connect), is the first step to setting them on a path of natural and engaged learning.
Need to find more books to support your child’s interests? Libraries open up new worlds, spark imagination, encourage reading, help develop critical thinking and prepare and support children in school and life. Parent groups are another great way to share resources and find opportunities for engaging literacy-supporting activities.
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