Children learn about language through different kinds of play. When they play "store" or pretend to be an animal, they practice putting thoughts into words.


  • Play is a good way to develop background knowledge through role playing different situations. Try playing restaurant, doctor's office, school, car repair shop, or library.
  • Provide toys that can represent the characters in a favorite book to act out or extend the story.
  • Playing with blocks is great for early literacy! There are so many ways to sort, categorize, and pretend.


  • Play "I Spy."
  • Play with words: tell jokes and riddles.
  • Use stuffed animals to tell a story. 

How the library can help

CADL has places to play and learn. We offer storytimes and other events just right for early learners.

Here are some books that encourage imaginative play.

Can You Make a Scary Face by Jan Thomas

It's a Tiger by David LaRochelle

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Wiggle by Doreen Cronin

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

Press Here by Herve Tullet 

Adapted from Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library, 2nd Edition