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The Importance Of Play And Literacy

Allison Billenstein
EDUC 2600
Professor Scheckelhoff
28 November 2017
Play and Literacy What is play? Although there is no one consensus on the definition of play, it is undeniable that “play is the work of childhood” (Diamant-Cohen, 2012). If play is the work of childhood, then why is play being taken away? The answer lies in the “schoolification of the early years” (Kane, 2016). This means that many preschools are turning away from play and towards academics. Early childhood educators need to turn their focus away from thinking about academics and play as separate. Play should encompass all areas for a child’s well-being; social-emotional and academic alike. During play children are not just playing, but building social skills (Diamant-Cohen,
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Language isn’t intentionally taught, but more picked up as the child grows up; “we do not learn words from dictionaries, we take them from conversations that subsequently shape our understanding of the world” (Thompson, 2009). Because of this, educators need to give time for children to practice their language skills. That doesn’t happen when children are doing skill-and-drill exercises over a concept, but rather when they are playing with their peers. Early educators can help facilitate this language development by introducing and teaching children new words and phrases. Play is important for a child’s well-being, but it can also be a vehicle to learn literacy skills. Very few things are learned just by watching someone else do something, which means the majority of things have to be experienced in order to grasp the concept. This is true for literacy as well. When children play they are attaching meaning with toys, the same is true when reading; meaning must be attached to the written words (Roskos, et al.…show more content…
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