The purpose of play – the most efficient and powerful method of teaching children

Why do we play? Because it’s fun! And it’s especially fun when interacting and engaging with your child or grandchild – and seeing that spark of learning.

Games and playing together work to reinforce speech and language skills. Wherever you play -- at home, in the car, while on a shopping trip – there is opportunity to work on social skills, turn-taking, observing, listening and attention.

Early literacy educators encourage playing with purpose. And a game as simple as Candy Land is a good example. Why?

When played with patience and purpose it:

  • Teaches colors
  • Teaches simple counting skills
  • Helps children learn how to take turns, a skill used in numerous adult activities
  • Increases vocabulary
  • Models social skills, such as communication through eye contact and facial expressions, as well as patience and how to be a good winner/gracious loser

These learning concepts are achievable through many types of play. I think of card games – Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and Old Maid. What do you think of?

Here are a handful of books and music available at the Library that may start you on your way.

Story Stretchers for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos

Crazy Eights and Other Card Games

Wee Sing for Baby

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Arrorro, mi nino

-Jeanne, Children's Team at Sahuarita Library

Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!

Play comes so naturally to children and is an essential element to lifelong success. When children play, they are practicing and perfecting early literacy and life skills!

Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.