Wee Play

Girl at Wee Play corner store holding phone to her ear.
Wee Play Logo.

Playtime is learning time! Wee Play San José Stations, currently located at 25 branch libraries, provide access to learning-based toys and comfortable environments for children and caregivers to interact with one another. As children play independently, with their peers, and with their caregivers, they develop their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional skills.

Tips for Parents

Your child loves to play with you. They benefit from this too! You can offer them encouragement and new challenges as you play together.

  • Watch your children to learn what activities they prefer. Be aware of what they can do and have problems doing.
  • Follow your children’s lead instead of directing the play. Allow them to use toys in creative ways.
  • Ask questions to enhance their learning. For example:
    • What are you building?
    • What color is that block?
    • How does the sand feel in your hands?

Playtime is Learning Time! Through play, your child gains:

Children climbing across a colorful rope bridge on a playground.

Physical Skills

Your child develops larger movements of the arms, legs, feet, or entire body—gross motor skills—as they learn to reach, crawl, run, climb, and balance. Your child develops smaller movements—fine motor skills— when they practice holding small toys or crayons.

Try it at home:

  • Use masking tape to make a line on the floor. Walk on it like a balance beam.
  • Pretend to jump like a frog, gallop like a horse, fly like a bird, and waddle like a penguin.
A young child deciding whether to go right or left on a split path in a walled, leafy garden.

Cognitive Skills

Play has positive effects on your child's brain and their ability to learn and succeed in school. Through play, your child practices problem-solving, enhancing their memory, and increasing their ability to learn more complex ideas later on.

Try it at home:

  • Finger paint by mixing white yogurt and food coloring. What new colors did you make?
  • Let your child help you measure and mix while cooking.
A young child reading the board book First 100 Words.

Language Skills

As your child plays and interacts with you or other children, they learn about words, sounds, and communication. This begins with you talking sweetly to your baby about their world. As they grow older, they will also start to communicate with others, sing, and tell stories with family and friends.

Try it at home:

  • Read books and sing songs together each day.
  • Make sock puppets and use them to act out stories.
A group of young, colorfully dressed children sitting on a bench in a colorful classroom while smiling.

Social skills

When your child plays with other people, they learn to cooperate, negotiate, and take turns.

Try it at home:

  • Dance to music and take turns copying each other's moves.
  • Give your child opportunities to play with other kids. Try visiting a park or library story time.