Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Ready Ideas for Ready to Read: PLAY

As children’s professionals, we know the Every Child Ready to Read concepts. Maybe you address a certain one in every program. Maybe parents ask more about them. Maybe you can say them in your sleep. Maybe you didn’t realize they had a name, but are still using them all in your daily work.

Whatever your story is, the five key practices (talk, read, sing, write and play) aren’t going anywhere. This is the fourth post of a five-part series on concrete ideas to use ECRR in programming.

Take a look at past posts here:

Today’s post is about PLAY. Children learn through dramatic and pretend play, express themselves and practice narrative skills.

Activity Ideas

  • Create a rotating dramatic play space in your children’s area. Themes could include dress-up, doctors office, airport, grocery store, farmers market, bank, and more.
  • Think outside the box for play ideas. Look at children’s museums, general play spaces, daycares, and beyond to see what they are doing and how it could be incorporated into your space.
  • Use specific sorting games and matching activities to build shape recognition and prepare children to recognize small differences in letters.
  • Use play props that have writing like recipe cards, directions, or lists so that kids can see writing is all around them.
  • Chanting games (Who Took the Cookies), alphabet name games (Emily Elephant, Alex Anteater, Mark Monkey), clapping games (Miss Mary Mack), counting games (Bubblegum, bubblegum), and rhyming games (Down by the Bay) all build language and phonological awareness.

Book Ideas

The CLEL Bell Awards are announced annually and have one winner in each practice. Here’s the past few years of READ winners with links to the CLEL created activity sheets:

Additional Resources

This post addresses ALSC competency group I: Commitment to Client Group point 5: Understands current educational practices, especially those related to literacy and inquiry.

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