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    Children's Play Experiences and Other Activities

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    What types of play experiences would you offer in your classroom to enhance language acquisition? Consider infant/toddler, preschool and school aged classrooms.

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    Types of Play Experiences: role-playing, games, creative play and imagination, story-telling, conversation, songs, dances

    Sample Play Experiences:

    A. For Infants -
    ? Hold, rock, and sing to young babies.
    ? Explain what you are doing throughout the day when you change or feed them.
    ? Let young babies lie on a big piece of paper and hear the crunching noise when they move.
    ? Play different kinds of music on the radio.
    ? Give them soft toys (like a stuffed animal or a clean sock) to hold and feel and keep on repeating the word "soft" and when you say it, squeeze the stuffed animal.
    ? Give babies toys they can move and make noise with (like a rattle).
    ? Have a clean space for babies to crawl. Put bright toys near babies so they can reach out or move toward them. Put a big cardboard box on the floor so the babies can crawl inside and play. Once in a while, say the name of the toy while showing it to the baby.
    ? Put some chair cushions on the floor. Babies can bounce and roll on them. Say roll as you show it to the baby.
    ? Read aloud books that have colorful pictures.
    ? Have blankets and scarves for infants to hide under then say "hide" as you do this.

    B. For Toddlers
    ? Toddlers like to put things inside of other things and dump them out. Cut a hole in the middle of the lid of a clean coffee can or plastic margarine tub. Let the toddlers put clothespins, thread spools, and big hair curlers through the hole. Show them how to say the names of the things they see and play with and let them repeat the words. At times, few kids might be able to understand action words.
    ? Make play dough. Mix 3 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 3 tablespoons oil, and 1 cup water together. Add food coloring for color. Let the toddlers use jar lids, clothespins, and popsicle sticks to cut and shape the play dough. This is a good way to teach shapes.
    ? Children love to play with water. Fill big buckets or tubs with water. Give the children soap chips, measuring spoons and cups, plastic bottles, butter tubs, and sponges to play with in the water. Put towels or newspaper on the floor so the children will not slip on the wet floor. A song can be used to implement learning on actions they are doing and expressions like "Be careful".
    ? Toddlers like goop. Mix cornstarch and water together. Let toddlers play with it in a bucket or in bowls with cups and spoons. Make the goop thick or thin. This is a good way to explain what thick and thin are. Other things can be shown and this kind of activities can teach about opposites.
    ? Ask your local appliance shop for a free refrigerator (or other large appliance) cardboard box. Cut doors and windows ...

    Solution Summary

    790 words; types of play experiences