The Power of Play | OLC Presentation
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The Power of Play | OLC Presentation

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Creating playful environments and programs in our libraries. OLC Chapter Conference. Spring 2014.

Creating playful environments and programs in our libraries. OLC Chapter Conference. Spring 2014.

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The Power of Play | OLC Presentation The Power of Play | OLC Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • THE POWER OF PLAY Creating playful environments and programs in our libraries OLC Chapter Conference. Spring, 2014
  • WHAT IS PLAY?  Engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose  Amusing oneself by engaging in imaginative pretense  Being cooperative  Representing (a character) in a theatrical performance
  • WHY IS PLAY IMPORTANT?  Play encourages social interaction and sharing  Play helps to create friendships  Play improves vocabulary, language development and storytelling skills  Play develops positive emotional well-being, relieves emotional tension and helps to conquer fears  Play develops skills such as critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and collaboration  Play improves a one’s understanding of her environment and her world  Play encourages creativity and imagination  Play improves one’s ability to experience and appropriately express emotions, understand the emotions of others, and regulate emotions
  • WHY OFFER PLAY IN LIBRARIES?  Studies show that free play is being replaced by structured activities and academics.  Libraries can offer a free, safe and inviting space for non- structured play.  Libraries are places where children, adolescents and adults can come to meet and interact with their peers.  Libraries have trained, talented staff who are able to spend time developing and creating spaces and programs to encourage free play.  Libraries have funds that can be used to purchase materials such as props, costumes and furniture that can be used for pretend play.  As one of the five practices of ECRR2, play is an important way of helping children to improve language and literacy skills.
  • WHAT ARE SOME WAYS IN WHICH LIBRARIES CAN OFFER PLAY?  Pretend Play Programs  Imagination Stations  Activity-based Storytimes  Lego/building programs  Family programs  Tween programs and teen programs
  • PRETEND PLAY IN THE LIBRARY Pretend Play in the Library is a program in which families with children aged 2-6 have 45 minutes in our youth services activity center to explore themed props, costumes and creative materials. Pretend play is open- ended, self-guided, and allows parents to engage with their children.
  • IMAGINATION STATIONS Imagination Stations are creative, themed or un-themed spaces in the library set up with costumes, props, furniture, etc. to encourage pretend play and imaginative thinking.
  • IMPORTANCE OF BLOCK PLAY  Encourages cooperation and sharing  Stimulates imagination and creative thinking through dramatic play and symbolism  Improves language and negotiation skills  Helps with problem solving  Improves confidence by allowing the builders to think freely and make decisions
  • BLOCK PLAY (AND BEYOND)IN LIBRARIES  Books and Blocks: a short storytime for children ages 3-5, after which toy building materials are used to re-create characters and objects from the stories.  LEGO Madness: Children 6-12 are invited to come to the library to participate in cooperative building activities, using the library’s own supply of LEGOs.
  • WONDERWORKS: STEAM STORYTIME Children and their adults enjoy books, hands-on- activities, songs, crafts and more in this interactive program which teaches the skills of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
  • PLAY IN FAMILY NIGHT PROGRAMS
  • PLAY IN TWEEN AND TEEN PROGRAMS
  • POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH ADDING PLAY TO THE LIBRARY?  Space?  Time?  Staffing?  Budget?  Interest?
  • POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS?  Cardboard boxes  Recycled and reusable materials  Paper bag, sock and stick puppets  Paper masks and props  Teen or adult volunteers  Outdoor programs in the summer
  • ADULTS NEED PLAY, TOO… “Play is defined by researchers as an activity that encourages positive emotions and allows people [to get] to know each other, [learn] about each other or [engage] in a mutual interest together, at a higher rate than expected . Play is accompanied by smiling and laughter...play is not forced, it encourages autonomy, spontaneity and creativity. Friends, couples and co-workers who play together report feeling greater intimacy and closeness. And this sense of closeness develops at a faster rate than normal. Play bonds those who engage in it and helps to shake off tensions and aggressions that might interfere with work or relationships. Adults spend too little time at play according to research, and would benefit greatly from spending more time at it. In the workplace, "adult play helps to alleviate boredom, release tensions, prevent aggression, and create work group solidarity…” Whether you’re an adult playing with other adults, an adult playing with kids or children playing, taking play seriously may help you to bond, behave or learn, and you'll have fun doing it!” ~Dr. Tian Dayton, “Researchers Say Adults Need to Play More,”
  • EXCELLENT LITERATURE ON THE POWER OF PLAY  “The Need for Pretend Play in Childhood Development,” by Scott Barry Kaufman. Beautiful Minds, March 6, 2012 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201203/the-need-pretend-play-in-child- development  “The Power of Play” Boston Children’s Museum http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/power-of-play  “Play in the Preschool Classroom: Its Socioemotional Significance and the Teacher’s Role in Play,” by Godwin S. Ashiabi. Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 35, No. 2, October 2007 http://leadershiplinc.illinoisstate.edu/play-based- learning/documents/play_in_the_preschool_classroom.pdf  “Can We Play?,” by David Elkind. Greater Good, Spring 2008 http://www.ultimateblockparty.com/download/UBP_CanWePlay.pdf  “The Serious Need for Play,” by: Wenner, Melinda. Scientific American Mind, Feb/Mar2009, Vol. 20, Issue 1. https://www.uwsp.edu/hphd/Documents/gesell/needForPlay.pdf  “Researchers Say Adults Need to Play More,” by Dr. Tian Dayton, Huff Post Addiction and Recovery Blog, March 20, 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-tian-dayton/researchers-sayadults-nee_b_817248.html  “Play as a Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Existence,” by Peter Gray. American Journal of Play, Spring 2009 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415102211.htm  “The Importance of Block Play,” Journey Into Childhood Blog http://journeyintoearlychildhood.weebly.com/the-importance-of-block-play.html  “Improving Parent-Child Relationships Through Block Play,” by Yen-Chun Lin, Education, Spring 2010  Cultivate Wonder: Exploring Science with Children. Blog. http://cultivatewonder.wordpress.com/
  • QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? PLEASE, LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. JEN THOMAS, YOUTH SERVICES LIBRARIAN WESTERVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY JTHOMAS@WESTERVILLELIBRARY.ORG LINDA UHLER, YOUTH SERVICES MANAGER WESTERVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY LUHLER@WESTERVILLELIBRARY.ORG