Playing to Learn

You may have heard it said that play is the work of childhood. In the Youth Services area of Xenia Community Library, we provide children with many opportunities to engage in this work. The toys and props in the Discover, Learn, and Grow Room give children a place to use their imaginations and develop a variety of important skills.

The Youth Services staff creates themes for the room. During the Summer Reading Program it transformed into a space station with galaxy murals covering the walls, a mission control center where children could pretend to launch rockets, and station for measuring and weighing moon rocks. For the fall it’s a farm with animal puppets, a hen house with eggs to be collected, and pool noodle ponies for galloping across the countryside.

This type of imaginative play helps children learn about language, and gives them an opportunity to express themselves and put thoughts into words. For example, when children make up stories using puppets, they’re developing narrative skills and building vocabulary which are crucial skills for learning to read.

So if you hear mooing and baaing, someone singing “Old MacDonald” or telling their pony to “Giddyup!” the next time you visit Xenia Community Library, know that those are the sounds of children hard at work.

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