Learning Through Play

They say that all work and no play can make you dull, but when it comes to kids, play can be the best kind of work! Kids are like sponges: they soak up everything around them, and some of the most beneficial (and fun) ways they can learn is through play. Most kids will make up games and their own ways to play independently, but with a couple of nudges and support, it can become so much more! Play can teach kids about social interaction, encourage imagination, and nourish their fledgling executive function skills. Working with others to create and play games can teach cooperation, compromise, and communication. Even the rules of a simple game such as Marco Polo can provide structure, nurture budding negotiation skills, and help with developing impulse control. Decision making and basic life skills can be observed in dramatic play, such as pretending to go grocery shopping or playing school.

How can you help the kids in your life capitalize on these benefits? Create opportunities for children to play at home, and actively play with them. Children are more likely to engage when they see an adult they like doing so too! Play doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, either. Materials such as cardboard, paper, and other household items are great for inventive play. In addition, sand, water, rocks, and/or other natural items can provide a blank slate outdoors for kids to create their own activities. Child-led play is some of the most productive play, so let them take the lead and get creative! If you need a little inspiration, no worries. The library's collection is full of resources and stories to spark play at home or wherever you go. Simply click to visit our Learning Through Play Book List hosted within our online catalog and let your imagination run wild! 

To experience open play and for librarian-created “play recipes” to bring home, be sure to drop in for our Big Covington Playdate on Saturday, May 18 from 11-1 at the Covington Branch! We'll have plenty of hands-on, sensory friendly activities for little ones to explore, along with various community partners lending a hand with fun of their own to share. In addition, every child between the ages of 0-6 will receive a free book, so join families from across the area for our big day of play!

Learn more here.