The adage “play is the work of childhood,” is well known. But do my programs put that knowledge into practice? Reflecting on past events I noticed a lot of wonderful themes, crafts, STEAM learning, and skill development projects. Those won’t stop, but now when planning I also look for ways to build in games, gaming, and time to play.
Turn taking, sportsmanship, social emotional, and literacy skills are just the start. Just a few other benefits of play include enhanced coordination and problem solving skills. Whether using classic board games or offbeat newer games, the learning opportunities of gaming are kind of a big deal. So if you’re ready to make a case for program time that includes play in the library, check out the resources from the Games & Gaming Round Table. Still unsure? Explore what other ALSC Bloggers have to say about games, gaming, and play.
Gaming offers an inviting way to use library spaces. And Libraries may have resources that enable children and caregivers to try games they might not have at home. Here’s how reflecting on existing programs helped me add more playtime to our program schedule. Popular preschool storytimes? Add a stay and play component to the schedule. Heading outside? Simple chalked hopscotch games promote motor skills and coordination. Tiny budget? Repurpose materials. With some upcycled wooden slats and paint, we created an oversized word-building game that school-aged patrons love. Variety makes gaming more interesting! Best of all, when fun takes center stage I’ve made room for the important work of play at the library.