Early Literacy Workshops

Early Literacy Workshop: The Power of Pretend

This is a workshop I conducted on the importance of playing pretend. The workshop was conducted with our regular Family Storytime crowd of grown-ups with children ages 0-5. I framed the workshop as a regular story time, but included early literacy tips at appropriate moments throughout the workshop.

Book 1: Not A Box by Antoinette Portis

Theme Song: This is a sort of made up song, I originally found a version of it in some strange YouTube video, but edited it to better suit our workshop. Of course we did some pretending for each line of the song.

The Pretend Song
It’s fun to be this
It’s fun to be that
To leap like a lamb
To climb like a cat
To hop like a frog
To swim like a fish
To trot like a horse
To eat from your dish (om nom nom nom nom nom)
It’s fun to pretend
To play make believe
It’s fun to pretend
Or just to be me!

Re-focus song

Book 2: Meeow and the Little Chairs by Sebastien Braun

We ended by using pretend to sing some of our favorites songs such as Tick Tock (pretending to be a cuckoo clock) and Snake in the Grass (pretending to be a snake). 


The following are the tips we discussed throughout our workshop:

  • Playing pretend is important because it helps our child develop:
    • Vocabulary
    • Language
    • Social skills
    • Problem solving skills
  • What can we play pretend with at home or on the go?
    • Boxes
    • Clothes and costumes
    • Pots and pans
    • Stuffed animals and dolls
    • Subway cards and old credit cards
  • Encourage your child to tell a story by asking open ended questions while they are playing:
    • What is this character doing?
    • Where are they going?
    • How do they feel right now?

At the very end I also gave out this nice handout I found that summarized our workshop well:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.