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!