Incorporating Play Into Math and Literacy

Through play, preschoolers learn and develop countless important skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives. Just to name a few, the simple act of story time can help advance preschoolers’ pre-reading skills; playing with water and soap can stimulate science learning; building with blocks can help children learn basic geometry, and the list goes on. As you include all of these things and more into your curriculum, here are three ways to incorporate play into math and literacy learning:

  1. Create Movement-Based Activities for Practicing Content Skills
    Preschoolers are more likely to remember the meaning of a word or concept if they can associate it with a movement. Try acting out new words as you play together inside and outside the classroom. For example, as you play with the ball, teach them the concepts of catching and throwing. 

  2. Connect Math with Sports and Games
    Score keeping is just one example of how math is connected to play. Whether you’re playing a game with your students in a small group, or as a whole class, introduce how keeping score can ultimately project who will win the game.

  3. Encourage Action While Reading
    During story time, have your students act out some of the different things the characters are doing in the book. For example, if the character is dancing, encourage your students to do the same. This simple act can not only get children moving, but also teach them that words have different meanings. 

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