close
Font size options
Increase or decrease the font size for this website by clicking on the 'A's.
Contrast options
Choose a colour combintion to give he most comfortable contrast.

Playing looks like fun, but it's also important work!

Playing

Playing Teaches Early Literacy!

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." -Fred Rogers

How Can Playing Develop Early Literacy Skills?

  • Play is simply the best way for children to learn language, literacy, social, and other skills. It also nurtures creativity.

  • Play helps children think symbolically (one thing can stand for another): a box becomes a car, a playmate is a firefighter, etc. This will help them understand that written words stand for real objects and experiences.

  • Children develop thinking and oral language skills: as they play store or pretend to be animals, they talk about what they are doing. They are practicing putting their thoughts into words.

  • When children make up stories for what they're doing (dramatic play) they learn narrative skills. For example, stories happen in an order: first, next, last.

  • Make-believe allows children to act out real situations, work through worries and fears, and solve problems using their imaginations.

  • Play builds self-confidence and imparts a sense of accomplishment in children. This motivates them to try new experiences and not give up when things are difficult.

What Kind of Play?

You are your child's first and favorite playmate! Your child learns something new through each interaction with you.How kids play changes as they grow.

  • How children play will change as they grow. It is normal for babies and young toddlers to play alongside rather than with each other, for example. To learn more about the typical development of play, see: The Power of Play in Child Development and The Development of Play Skills from Birth to 3.

  • Let them lead: give your child the freedom they need to explore items and do activities in their own way, at their own pace. Show them one way to interact with a toy, but allow them to find other ways too.

  • Respond to their signals: paying attention to your child's expressions and gestures will help you know when you need to change activities or offer assistance. You want to provide just enough help so they don't get frustrated, which will motivate them to keep trying.

  • Play it again: Repeating the same game or activity over and over again may bore you, but your child is practicing in order to gain mastery of new skills. Encourage them in their efforts to do it "All by myself!"

  • Adapt to meet their needs: Giving your child a place to play in that is safe to explore will ensure fewer "No"s and more smiles. Pay attention to their cues – some children like lots of sensory stimulation, and others may want to focus on one thing at a time.

  • Remember that the best kind of play is often unstructured. Don't pressure yourself or your child; simply enjoy your time together.

Putting it into Action

Here are several examples of using Play to help build early literacy skills:A simple color sorter

  • Play matching and sorting games! As children notice what is alike or different, they will be prepared to understand the distinctions between letters.

  • Play with blocks – it builds motor, math, and science skills by providing opportunities for sorting, categorizing, building, and knocking down.

  • Use puppets or other props for dramatic play. Acting out the story of a favorite book builds narrative skills.

  • Involve all their senses: Go on a scavenger hunt for items of different colors, different textures, etc. This kind of sensory play will expand your child's knowledge of their world as you talk about what they're exploring.

  • Add print to pretend play: suggest that your child write prescriptions if they're playing doctor, menus for a restaurant, prices for a store, etc.

Sources:

Saroj Ghoting
Every Child Ready to Read 2nd Edition
The Power of Play in Child Development
The Development of Play Skills from Birth to 3

Preschool Events
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Mar 26, 10:00am - 10:45am
This event is full

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Mar 26, 10:30am - 11:30am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Mar 26, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Tue, Mar 26, 6:30pm - 7:00pm

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Mar 27, 10:30am - 11:00am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Wed, Mar 27, 10:30am - 11:00am

Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Wed, Mar 27, 10:30am - 11:30am

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Mar 27, 10:30am - 11:30am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Wed, Mar 27, 10:30am - 11:00am

Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Wed, Mar 27, 11:00am - 11:30am

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Mar 28, 10:00am - 11:00am
This event is full

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Mar 28, 10:30am - 11:15am

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 01, 10:30am - 11:00am

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 01, 10:30am - 11:00am

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 01, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 01, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

St. John - Children's Section
Mon, Apr 01, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 02, 10:00am - 10:45am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 02, 10:30am - 11:30am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 02, 10:30am - 11:30am

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 02, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 02, 6:30pm - 7:00pm

Highland
Wed, Apr 03, 10:30am - 11:00am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Wed, Apr 03, 10:30am - 11:30am

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 03, 10:30am - 11:30am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 03, 10:30am - 11:00am

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Wed, Apr 03, 10:30am - 11:00am

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 03, 6:00pm - 6:45pm

Rescheduled
Highland
Thu, Apr 04, 10:30am - 11:00am
New date Wednesday, April 03, 10:30am - 11:00am

Munster Library - Children's Area
Thu, Apr 04, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Apr 04, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Fri, Apr 05, 10:30am - 11:00am

Highland - Meeting Room A
Fri, Apr 05, 10:30am - 11:30am

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Fri, Apr 05, 11:30am - 12:00pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Sat, Apr 06, 10:30am - 11:00am

St. John - Entry
Mon, Apr 08, 10:00am - 8:30pm

Munster - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 08, 10:30am - 11:30am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 08, 10:30am - 11:00am

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 08, 10:30am - 11:15am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 08, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 08, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 09, 10:00am - 10:45am

St. John - Entry
Tue, Apr 09, 10:00am - 8:30pm

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 09, 10:30am - 11:30am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 09, 10:30am - 11:00am

Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Tue, Apr 09, 10:30am - 11:30am

Canceled
Lake Station-New Chicago
Tue, Apr 09, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 09, 11:00am - 11:45am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 09, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 09, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 09, 6:00pm - 6:30pm

St. John - Entry
Wed, Apr 10, 10:00am - 8:30pm

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 10, 10:15am - 10:45am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Wed, Apr 10, 10:30am - 11:00am

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 10, 10:30am - 11:00am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Wed, Apr 10, 10:30am - 11:00am

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 10, 10:30am - 11:30am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 10, 11:15am - 11:45am

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Apr 11, 10:00am - 11:00am

St. John - Entry
Thu, Apr 11, 10:00am - 8:30pm

St. John - Entry
Thu, Apr 11, 10:00am - 8:15pm

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Apr 11, 10:30am - 11:15am

Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Thu, Apr 11, 10:30am - 11:00am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Thu, Apr 11, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

St. John - Entry
Fri, Apr 12, 10:00am - 6:00pm

St. John - Entry
Sat, Apr 13, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Sat, Apr 13, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Sat, Apr 13, 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 15, 10:30am - 11:00am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 15, 10:30am - 11:00am

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 15, 10:30am - 11:00am

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 15, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 15, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 15, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

St. John - Large Meeting Room
Mon, Apr 15, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 16, 10:00am - 10:45am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 16, 10:30am - 11:30am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 16, 10:30am - 11:30am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 16, 10:30am - 11:00am

Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 16, 11:00am - 11:45am

Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 16, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 16, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 16, 6:30pm - 7:00pm

Canceled
Highland
Wed, Apr 17, 10:30am - 11:00am

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Fri, Apr 19, 10:30am - 11:00am

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Fri, Apr 19, 11:30am - 12:00pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Sat, Apr 20, 10:30am - 11:00am

Children's Area Dyer/Schererville
Sat, Apr 20, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Munster - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 22, 10:30am - 11:30am

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Mon, Apr 22, 10:30am - 11:15am

Munster - Children's Program Room
Mon, Apr 22, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 23, 10:00am - 10:45am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 23, 10:30am - 11:30am

Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 23, 11:00am - 11:45am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 23, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Munster - Children's Program Room
Wed, Apr 24, 10:30am - 11:00am

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 24, 10:30am - 11:00am

St. John - Children's Program Room
Wed, Apr 24, 10:30am - 11:00am

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 24, 10:30am - 11:30am

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Apr 25, 10:00am - 11:00am

Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Apr 25, 10:30am - 11:15am

Family Events
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Tue, Mar 26, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
This event is full

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Mar 26, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

St. John - Large Meeting Room
Wed, Mar 27, 6:00pm - 7:45pm

St. John - Large Meeting Room
Thu, Mar 28, 10:30am - 12:30pm

Community Room - Community Room
Thu, Mar 28, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

St. John - Children's Section
Mon, Apr 01, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Tue, Apr 02, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
This event is full

Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Wed, Apr 03, 10:30am - 12:00pm

Highland - Meeting Room A
Wed, Apr 03, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Wed, Apr 03, 6:00pm - 6:45pm

Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Fri, Apr 05, 10:30am - 11:30am

Dyer-Schererville
Mon, Apr 08, 10:00am - 8:30pm

Griffith/Calumet Twp Branch - Library
Mon, Apr 08, 10:00am - 8:00pm

Highland Library tables
Mon, Apr 08, 10:00am - 8:30pm

St. John - Entry
Mon, Apr 08, 10:00am - 8:30pm

Munster - Large Meeting Room
Mon, Apr 08, 10:30am - 11:30am

Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Mon, Apr 08, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Mon, Apr 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

St. John - Entry
Tue, Apr 09, 10:00am - 8:30pm

Hobart Branch - Public seating area
Tue, Apr 09, 10:00am - 11:00am

Canceled
Lake Station-New Chicago
Tue, Apr 09, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Tue, Apr 09, 6:00pm - 6:30pm

Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Tue, Apr 09, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
This event is full

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 09, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

St. John - Entry
Wed, Apr 10, 10:00am - 8:30pm

Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Wed, Apr 10, 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Munster - Large Meeting Room
Wed, Apr 10, 2:00pm - 7:00pm

St. John - Entry
Thu, Apr 11, 10:00am - 8:30pm

St. John - Entry
Thu, Apr 11, 10:00am - 8:15pm

St. John - Children's Program Room
Thu, Apr 11, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Thu, Apr 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Thu, Apr 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

St. John - Entry
Fri, Apr 12, 10:00am - 6:00pm

St. John - Entry
Sat, Apr 13, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Hobart - Children's Program Room
Sat, Apr 13, 10:00am - 10:45am

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Sat, Apr 13, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Sat, Apr 13, 3:00pm - 4:00pm

St. John - Large Meeting Room
Mon, Apr 15, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Mon, Apr 15, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Tue, Apr 16, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
This event is full

Hobart Branch - Public area
Thu, Apr 18, All day

Children's Area Dyer/Schererville
Sat, Apr 20, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Mon, Apr 22, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Tue, Apr 23, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
This event is full

Highland - Children's Programming Room
Tue, Apr 23, 6:30pm - 7:30pm