With all our culture’s focus on concrete, measurable skills, it’s easy to forgetPlaying with trucks the importance of imagination in the mental, cognitive, and emotional life of a child.

Imaginative thinking and language go hand and hand however. Can you imagine playing with an imaginary friend without talking with them, either silently or out loud? Have you ever watched and listened to children playing pretend in a toy kitchen or with their legos? There’s usually conversation happening!

Here’s more on the connection.

And remember, for all our talk about early literacy (what children know about reading and writing before they can read and write), early literacy is simply one piece of the language development puzzle. Anything that encourages language will encourage reading and writing and their development later.

Keep talking!