Playing encourages your child to put their thoughts into words, tell stories, problem-solve and imagine. All of these skills will help them become better readers and writers when they start school.
Ages 0-1: Play peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo helps babies understand that just because they can’t see something, that object still exists. Play in front of a mirror and point to your baby’s body parts.
Ages 1-2: Encourage repetitive play. Your baby may want to spend 30 minutes moving blocks from one bin to another. They are learning about concepts like gravity and motion - encourage them to repeat these simple tasks over and over.
Ages 2-3: Introduce new vocabulary while you play. Narrate what you are doing. Use the big words and the small words—as many words as you can.
Ages 3-5: Explore open-ended activities and pretend play. Play with art supplies for the sake of play, not to make a specific craft. Encourage imagination.