My Magic Story Car: Video-Based Play Intervention to Strengthen Emergent Literacy of At-Risk Preschoolers
This chapter focuses on My Magic Story Car, a video-based program that strengthens emergent literacy skills of at-risk preschool children from low-income families through one of the most effective available modalities — make-believe play. Research shows that make-believe play, a natural feature of early childhood development peaking at ages 3 to 5, is an intrinsically motivating modality for engaging preschoolers in activities to enhance a plethora of cognitive, socioemotional, and motor skills. Through play, children practice vocabulary and new ways to express themselves. They verbalize plot sequences with increasingly complex situations that often evoke correcting responses from adults or peers. The narrative sequences of imaginative play can also enhance socioemotional skills such as cause-and-effect thinking, empathy, cooperation, patience, civility, and self-regulation. Singer and Singer (2001) developed a comprehensive set of learning games to strengthen these skills among 3- to 5-year-olds. Several of these games were adapted into My Magic Story Car.
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