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Books have the ability to transform play into a rich educational experience. If you’re anything like me, you have tons of lovely books but many get overlooked for bedtime story favourites and are only brought out if we deliberately seek out something we don’t know amidst our play.
Thankfully, in the past week, we have changed this and you should too! Today is simple: display 1-3 books beside relevant art and/or play materials. Watch, as I did, as your child rediscovers books that are often overlooked. Watch as they thumb through books, discover and question further.
Books (both non-fiction and fiction) add life and learning to play materials and transform an art experience.
While adding non-fiction books is definitely the more informative option, the odd fictional book certainly can enhance play and exploration just as much. Remember to include both, as well as relevant open-ended materials, to really amp up your child’s playtime.
Non-fiction book + Fiction book + Relevant play materials + Open-ended play materials
For example, adding a relevant field guide, a story book about animals, some figurines and loose parts on a shelf together.
Just as you and I love browsing blogs for information and search Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, so do your children if given the chance. If books are made a priority and simply part of the play and discovery process, it will become second nature.
Not all books are created equal. When I go op shop shopping (thrifting), books are the single most significant thing I have to hold back from buying tons of! A selection of rich texts and beautiful books with inspiring photography is better than a giant library of sub-par books that are less likely to inspire and inform.
I’d love for you to share your child’s favourite books which can be used to enhance play and art materials!
- Sort through your child’s books,
- Select any that relate to your child’s current interests,
- Place them on the shelf with related toys and materials,
- Observe and document their play and learning with the books and materials – reflect,
- When you next rotate your children’s toys, create an exploration and/or art experience and include a related book!