Use Books for Play

Little girl stacking books

Cropped image. Mliu92, Flickr. CC license.

For a over a year now I’ve been writing for Beaumont’s Parenting Program blog on ways to encourage reading and writing through the use of books in your home. But have you ever thought of using books simply for play? Here’s how!

  • Book Doctor. Use tape to help your children help fix their broken books. A torn page can be recovered in just minutes using clear packaging tape. If you don’t have broken books pulled aside just yet, make a label for a basket that can be kept near your family library to collect broken books over the next few weeks.
  • Build a Book Tower. Stack books. Talk about which ones work best (hardcover) and challenge each other to see how high your tower can get!
  • Home Library. Set up a check-out system for your home library. You can make pretend library cards using index cards or print one off the internet like this one. Don’t forget that local libraries have story time. Your children can grab a book, a chair and some stuffed animal friends to play the role as children as they retell a favorite story to an audience!
  • Design a Bookstore. A few weeks ago my girls set up books in the playroom with signs labeling groups of books (books with animals, Disney books, etc.). Then they played bookstore with one of them working the register at the store and the other coming through with a shopping cart and collecting books.
  •  Go on a Book Scavenger Hunt. This can be done in your personal family library or the local library. Here is an awesome printable to guide this play activity!

– Maria Dismondy, mother of three, reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan.

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