Imaginative Play

There was an interesting Op-Ed piece in the New York Times today about the importance of imaginative play for young children.  At the library we talk about the importance of play for developing early literacy skills, but as this article points out, “many adults think of play as separate from formal learning.  The reality is quite different.”  Play strengthens skills and knowledge and helps children self-regulate in a group.  The article describes what a purposeful play space looks like.  It has activity centers that “invite exploration, fire the imagination, require initiative and prompt collaboration.”

Chelmsford’s Main Library offers a PlaySpace on Tuesday mornings for 2 and 3 year old children.  Children listen to a story and then go to activity stations that are tied to the story.  We create the environment using simple items you can find around the house.  We offer activities to build fine and gross motor skills.  We have crafts and dramatic play.  We have a sensory station, a felt board and an area to read similar stories.

For the next 2 Tuesdays our story will be Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley.  Grownups and children are invited to come promptly at 10:00am and be prepared to play!


Storytime for Preschoolers, Wednesday, October 22

I had the joy of leading Wednesday storytimes today!  We got to read and sing and dance.  After reading a lovely story called Giraffes Can’t Dance (in the end the giraffe does dance) we talked about how grown ups always wants kids to sit still but that everyone needs to move and dance.  So we had a really fun time dancing to Peter and Ellen’s song “Bump-a-Deedle” where everyone is encouraged to get up and move!

The stories we read today are as follows.

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Books for preschoolers on Monday, October 20

Of course I read books about pumpkins at this time of year.  As we get closer to Halloween, though, I try to mix in a few scary books.  This week the scary book is Wolves by Emily Gravett.  “The author would like to point out that no rabbits were eaten during the making of this book.”, but it may scare sensitive readers, and so there is an alternative ending that has everyone living happily ever after.  We balanced that book with a silly one, Monkey and Me, by Emily Gravett.  Our pumpkin book was The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by Margery Cuyler.  The final book this week was Lemons are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.  I try to read several books by Gravett and Seeger in storytimes, because those authors are not as well known as they deserve to be.

Image of item   Why is there a rabbit on the cover if the story is about wolves?  Image of item  This is a silly book that is not scary at all.

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