Father And Family Activities™
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: These kids of ours, they love to play! And that includes, of course, the traditional Dad style rough-and-tumble play that men are famous for, but it also includes dramatic play where the dad takes on a role—such as in a make-believe game—and encourages his young children to do the same.
Fathers who get involved in the play-time activities of their three-to-five year old by taking on dramatic roles are doing more than just having fun, says James Christie, professor of early childhood education at Arizona State University. They’re helping their children learn to read!
Preschoolers can learn to read faster and make reading and writing a bigger part of their lives later on, Christie told me, when their parents give them “things to write with, things to write on, and things to read” during play time. So, break out the magazines, pens, paper, even the junk mail from the mailbox, and go and pretend to be someone in a dramatic play-time event with your child.
Take a role. For example, pretend to write a shopping list, or better still, write a real shopping list and take your child shopping, allowing him or her to take the role of “shopper” at the store. Draw attention to reading and writing as you play by having something to write with, something to write on, and things to read. If you have those elements, and you have an imagination (and a young child), then you’re set! Learning to read can start earlier than many people realize. And having fun with your dad can start even earlier. So get out there and play.
© Copyright 2010, The Down To Earth Dad, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This article originally appeared in The Down To Earth Dad™ monthly newsletter for parents, schools, and programs (The Down To Earth Dad®, www.DownToEarthDad.org), and it appears here by special permission. No additional copying/reproduction of this article allowed. 1-877-282-DADS.