Power of Play

Family Literacy and the Power of Play

Play is important for children and adults everywhere. Not only is play a good stress reliever, but playing with your child is a good way to bond and assess your child’s development milestones. For the children themselves, “play contributes to children’s fine and gross motor development and body awareness as they actively use their bodies.”

During our Family Literacy session each week we talk about two major themes: The power of play, and how to make reading more playful. We emphasize the importance of children using their entire body and senses to learn.

A delicious example of this is the book Growing Vegetable Soup. During this session we played a smelling game, asking families to guess the fruit or vegetable in an unmarked container by using only their sense of smell. After the game the children stamped vegetables on paper plates to remind them that literacy is all around us, including in the kitchen. One little boy said, “I want to make sure we put this somewhere in my room so I can see it every day.” The families shared different items they can use at home to play the smelling game (i.e cinnamon, basil, mint, cloves, anise star etc…)  

Through this example we are connecting the power of reading with the world that surrounds us. Having children use their outside sensory abilities to connect to the book will allow for them to have a deep and more meaningful connection to reading and to the world around them.

The First week of April marked the start of our second session of Family Literacy Programming for the 2015/2016 season. For seven weeks we will be working with over a 100 families. Each week we have fun activities and games to engage families, making reading a part of their daily routine!

Here are some of the things families shared they are doing at home after they completed a 7 week session with us:

“When we read ABC Animal Action at home my kids wanted to read the entire book and act out the letters and the way the animals moved.”

“When we read Is Your Mama a Llama, my daughter made sure to point out all the rhyming words.”

“We had the Spanish copy of Is Your Mamma a Llama so his dad can read to him, and we love it because it rhymes in Spanish too.”

Our Family Literacy Program is a full adventure for both the parents and children.  If you are interested in visiting one of our Family Literacy sessions we would be happy to make the arrangements. We have ongoing sessions from now until May 20th. Please contact Amanda Bonds at, amanda@wordsalive.org to schedule a time and join us at a site, as we continue to MAKE READING MATTER!