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
Tue, Oct 22, 10:00am - 10:45am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
This event is full

Tue, Oct 22, 10:30am - 11:30am
St. John - Children's Program Room

Tue, Oct 22, 11:00am - 11:45am
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room

Tue, Oct 22, 11:15am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Oct 22, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
St. John - Children's Program Room

Wed, Oct 23, 10:30am - 11:00am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
This event is full

Wed, Oct 23, 10:30am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room

Wed, Oct 23, 10:30am - 11:00am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Wed, Oct 23, 10:30am - 11:30am
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Oct 23, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room

Thu, Oct 24, 10:30am - 11:00am
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Sat, Oct 26, 10:30am - 11:00am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Sat, Oct 26, 11:00am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room

Mon, Oct 28, 10:30am - 11:00am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Oct 28, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Mon, Oct 28, 10:30am - 11:15am
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Oct 28, 11:00am - 11:30am
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room

Mon, Oct 28, 11:30am - 12:30pm
Munster - Children's Program Room

Mon, Oct 28, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A

Mon, Oct 28, 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Tue, Oct 29, 10:00am - 10:45am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Oct 29, 11:15am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Oct 29, 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room

Thu, Oct 31, 10:00am - 11:30am
Munster - Large Meeting Room

Fri, Nov 01, 10:30am - 11:00am
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Nov 04, 10:30am - 11:15am
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Mon, Nov 04, 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Nov 04, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Tue, Nov 05, 10:00am - 10:45am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 05, 10:30am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room
This event is full

Tue, Nov 05, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Tue, Nov 05, 11:15am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 05, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 05, 6:30pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 06, 10:30am - 11:30am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
This event is full

Wed, Nov 06, 10:30am - 11:00am
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 06, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 06, 10:30am - 11:00am
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 06, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 06, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 06, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Thu, Nov 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room

Thu, Nov 07, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster Library - Children's Area

Fri, Nov 08, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room

Sat, Nov 09, 10:30am - 11:00am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

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

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

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

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

Mon, Nov 11, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B

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

Mon, Nov 11, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Nov 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room

Tue, Nov 12, 10:00am - 10:45am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 12, 10:30am - 11:15am
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A

Tue, Nov 12, 10:30am - 11:30am
St. John - Children's Program Room

Tue, Nov 12, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 12, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room

Tue, Nov 12, 11:15am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 12, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
St. John - Children's Program Room

Tue, Nov 12, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 12, 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 13, 10:15am - 10:45am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 13, 10:30am - 11:00am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
This event is full

Wed, Nov 13, 10:30am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 13, 10:30am - 11:30am
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 13, 10:30am - 11:00am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 13, 11:15am - 11:45am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 13, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Thu, Nov 14, 10:30am - 11:00am
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Thu, Nov 14, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Thu, Nov 14, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
St. John - Children's Program Room

Fri, Nov 15, 10:30am - 11:00am
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Sat, Nov 16, 11:00am - 12:00pm
DS: Children's Area

Sat, Nov 16, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room

Sat, Nov 16, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Hobart Library - Children's Area

Mon, Nov 18, 10:30am - 11:15am
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Mon, Nov 18, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Nov 18, 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Nov 18, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Mon, Nov 18, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 19, 10:00am - 10:45am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 19, 10:30am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room
This event is full

Tue, Nov 19, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 19, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Tue, Nov 19, 11:00am - 11:45am
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room

Tue, Nov 19, 11:15am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 19, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 19, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room

Tue, Nov 19, 6:30pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 20, 10:15am - 10:45am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 20, 10:30am - 11:30am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 20, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 20, 10:30am - 11:00am
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 20, 10:30am - 11:00am
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 20, 11:15am - 11:45am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 20, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Family Events
Canceled
Tue, Oct 22, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville

Tue, Oct 22, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Oct 23, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
This event is full

Wed, Oct 23, 6:30pm - 7:45pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room

Wed, Oct 23, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room

Thu, Oct 24, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room

Fri, Oct 25, 1:00pm - 3:15pm
Highland - Meeting Room A

Sat, Oct 26, 11:00am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room

Mon, Oct 28, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A

Mon, Oct 28, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A

Mon, Oct 28, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Mon, Oct 28, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A

Mon, Oct 28, 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room

Mon, Oct 28, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room

Canceled
Tue, Oct 29, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville

Tue, Oct 29, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room

Sat, Nov 02, 1:00pm - 3:30pm
Highland - Meeting Room A

Mon, Nov 04, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Children's Program Room

Mon, Nov 04, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A

Canceled
Tue, Nov 05, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville

Wed, Nov 06, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room

Wed, Nov 06, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room

Thu, Nov 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room

Thu, Nov 07, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Fri, Nov 08, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room

Sat, Nov 09, 10:00am - 11:00am
Highland - Meeting Room A

Mon, Nov 11, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A

Mon, Nov 11, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A

Mon, Nov 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room

Tue, Nov 12, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room

Canceled
Tue, Nov 12, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville

Tue, Nov 12, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Wed, Nov 13, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room

Thu, Nov 14, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
St. John - Children's Program Room

Thu, Nov 14, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room

Sat, Nov 16, 11:00am - 12:00pm
DS: Children's Area

Sat, Nov 16, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room

Sat, Nov 16, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Hobart Library - Children's Area

Mon, Nov 18, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B

Canceled
Tue, Nov 19, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville