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Early Literacy Learning Guide: 3-4 Years
3-4 years: Pretending PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rachel Betzen   

3-4 years: Pretending- Let your child direct the play and join in. Ask your child lots of questions about their play and the things they have participated in each day. Simple games, such as “I Spy” help teach colors and categories (ex: I Spy something you eat, or an animal, or something with wheels, etc.).


Another fun way to foster your child's imagination and symbolic language skills is to play with objects creatively. An example of this might be encouraging your child to use a banana as a play phone, or to push a block across the floor as a car. Adults can also encourage sound play, such as repeating sounds of initial words as the child plays with that object, making sounds for cars and animals, and using noise effects.


As your child embraces and uses pretend play, she will now better appreciate stories that are outside her experiences. Your child can further her imagination through listening to fairy tales and fantasy stories. Talk about how the worlds in these stories are different from our everyday world. She will also enjoy reading about herself! You can use old board books to make new personalized books with family photographs and words glued on and covered in clear contact paper.


Pretend play and increasing your child's capacity for using symbols and the sounds of her language during play are important. This increases sound awareness skills, and helps her know what to look for to better understand stories.






Dallas Reading and Language Services

Rachel Betzen MA, CCC/SLP


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(214) 274-7455


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