DALLAS — The Back Mountain Memorial Librarywas selected to participate in a new program called Play K, which focuses on using play to help preschoolers develop the skills needed to be successful in kindergarten, and later in life.
A six-week program will be held for children who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2017 from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays beginning Sept. 19. Parents are asked to call the library to register their children.
Teri Pyros of Shavertown, a retired special education and early childhood education teacher, will present these materials and a curriculum of activities for six different play-and-learn centers or playscapes. Each center is designed around an early childhood theme or topic to provide an interactive learning experience. Play K is aligned to Pennsylvania’s Learning Standards for Early Childhood with the goal of promoting early learning skills within the library setting.
Within each playscape, the nine key learning areas from Pennsylvania’s Learning Standards for Early Childhood are reinforced as children and parents play and learn together. Materials and books (fiction and informational text) for hands-on learning are provided. Through the games and activities, children will develop fine motor skills, spatial skills and problem-solving skills, build their vocabulary, use their imagination, improve letter recognition and number skills, and grow narrative skills and comprehension. In addition, the playscapes are designed to encourage interaction in order to develop social and emotional skills. The best part is that all of this will be learned while children are playing and having fun.
Families and caregivers will learn how vital play is to their child’s development of early learning skills. They will also learn how five simple things — talking, singing, reading, writing and playing with their child every day — can build skills that will enable their child to be more successful in kindergarten.
Preschoolers will increase their ability to interact with other children and adults while exploring and experimenting with developmentally appropriate learning materials.
The library will host the following playscapes during this six-week program:
• Playscape 1: All Aboard! This playscape explores the theme of transportation, including the different kinds of transportation and why it is important to our daily lives. Toys include puzzles, a sound-matching game and a “Vehicle Sorting Center” to provide opportunities for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) exploration and play.
• Playscape 2: A Home for Me and a Home for You. This playscape explores the theme of house and home, including the different kinds of houses that people live in within communities. Toys include a puppet set, a rhyming game and a “House Building Center” to provide opportunities for STEM exploration and play.
• Playscape 3: Let’s Go Shopping! This playscape explores the theme of shopping and beginning economics. Children will learn how money relates to the purchase of goods and services, using a grocery store as the example. Toys include pretend foods, shopping baskets, shopping lists and picture/word rings, and a “Play & Learn Cash Register” to provide opportunities for STEM exploration and play.
• Playscape 4: All Around Town. This playscape explores the theme of community and citizenship and focuses on the different people in the community and how when everyone works together, the community is a better place. Toys include a community sorting center, community helper figures and a set of “Community Vehicles & Buildings with Garages” to provide opportunities for STEM exploration and play.
• Playscape 5: Amazing Animals — Pets. This playscape explores the theme of animals as pets and what they need to live and grow. Toys include puzzles, a fine motor skills game and a “Pet Vet Center” to provide opportunities for STEM exploration and play.
• Playscape 6: My Colorful World. This playscape explores the theme of color and light and how colors help us describe the objects in our world. Toys include a puppet set, size and color sorting bears, and a set of “Light and Color Tabletop Blocks” and a “Color and Light Science Kit” to provide opportunities for STEM exploration and play.
The PlayK program is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.