Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Back to Basics Part II: The Continued Importance of Play

I’ve started this blog post a trillion times, thinking to myself, “I’ll write something about ACES and Early & Family Literacy… maybe talk a bit about trauma-informed care. I’ll focus on this time of COVID-19… or maybe how we can combat systemic racism”. My attention is scattered, flitting between searching for the most current research to support an informed post and re-reading re)-entry documents in advance of our soft launch of contact-free pickup next week.

My reading takes me to information from Trauma-Informed Oregon, reminding that during times of stress, we should “prioritize relationships” to “buffer a stress response” and encourage resiliency. I came across an article from Yale Child Study Center-Scholastic Collaborative for Child and Family Resilience advising parents to look for clues as to how their child is dealing with COVID-19 anxiety in their imaginative play. I recall a reminder in the excellent CLEL webinar on Virtual Storytimes about the full complement of five practices. I re-read Carol’s May Back to Basics? post encouraging family reading. A text alert pops up with a picture of a young friend at play – and suddenly it all clicks together.

Young friend in outdoor playhouse

Just as reading together is a family literacy activity, so is playing. Play nurtures relationships, which in turn protect against stress – for adults and children. While we mourn the closing of library play areas, the outdoors is still available to gather sticks and rocks. When weather or other conditions inhibit outdoor play, blankets & pillows make excellent forts. Play helps work out complex emotions. And sometimes, play is just fun – which is something we all need doses of now and then.

Today’s blog post was written by Kristin Piepho, Library Manager at the Mountlake Terrace Library (Sno-Isle Libraries), on behalf of the ALSC Early and Family Literacy Committee.

This blog relates to ALSC Core Competencies of I. Commitment to Client Group

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