Toronto Public Library Blue Logo

playing

Play is how children learn, and how they come to understand their world.


Here is a bunny with ears so funny...

Fingerplay: Here is a Bunny

Related to: Hearing Words, Play

Here is a bunny with ears so funny...

Visit a park, library, backyard...

Game: We're Going on a Sound Hunt

Related to: Hearing Words, Play

Visit a park, library, backyard...

Collect pictures of things your child can easily find...

Game: Match Me Up

Related to: Knowing Words, Play

Collect pictures of things your child can easily find...

Fill a paper bag or a ziploc bag with some...

Game: Feed the Little Monster

Related to: Knowing Letters, Play

Fill a paper bag or a ziploc bag with some...

Say, “I spy with my little eye, something that is..."

Game: I Spy

Related to: Knowing Words, Play

Say, “I spy with my little eye, something that is..."

With your child, go on a hunt...

Game: Letter Hunt

Related to: Knowing Letters, Play

With your child, go on a hunt...

Tape a feather onto the end of a straw...

Game: Letter Ticklers

Related to: Knowing Letters, Play

Tape a feather onto the end of a straw...

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed...

Fingerplay: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Related to: Hearing Words, Play

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed...

Five Little Ducks went out one day...

Fingerplay: Five Little Ducks

Related to: Hearing Words, Play

Five Little Ducks went out one day...

I had a little turtle...

Fingerplay: I Had a Little Turtle

Related to: Hearing Words, Play

I had a little turtle...

playing Tips

  • Choose a “Letter of the Day” and point out everything you see, all day long, that starts with that letter. Find and name letters in books, on signs and labels, on toys, food boxes and other objects all around.
  • Sharing nursery rhymes and poetry is one of the best ways to introduce your child to rhyming words. For very young babies, try rhymes that involve a gentle touch, such as patting their feet. Play with your child by making up short rhymes and poems together.
  • Print and books should be familiar and everyday items in your child’s environment. Allow your child to explore books by keeping a variety of books within reach. Keep some books in your child’s toy box. Start a little library for your child keeping books on lower shelves.

Six skills that get your child ready for reading

  • Liking Books

    Children who enjoy books will want to learn to read.

  • Hearing words

    Hearing the smaller sounds in words helps children sound out written words.

  • Knowing words

    Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.

  • Telling a story

    Learning to tell a story helps children develop skills in thinking and understanding.

  • Seeing words

    Familiarity with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and reading.

  • Knowing letters

    Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children sound out words.

Toronto Public Library © 2023