5 Ideas for Creative Play

Published: 04th June 2007
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Creative play should be on every child's daily schedule. Usually when the word "creativity" is mentioned, the first thing we think about is art and craft. However, creative play is more than that. One activity under the banner of creative play is role playing.

What are the benefits of role playing?

- For one thing, you gain insight into how the child thinks and feels. Most of the time as adults, it's difficult for us to come down to their level and to understand their world. How can we guide a child effectively when we can't see things from their perspective? When we truly know what they are going through, then our teaching becomes more personal and powerful.

- It gives opportunities for mental growth. Children can experiment and explore new ideas and new ways of thinking without pressure.

- It builds problem solving skills. While role playing, they are put into situations that require them to make choices and decisions.

- It encourages self expression and helps them cope with their feelings. It is not the adults that determine what goes on during play but the children. They are the directors and script writers.

- Definitely fosters their imagination.

So here are 5 ideas you can do in your home to foster creative play.

1. Playing Shop:
Create a make believe shop such as a grocery shop. You can use items found around the house such as tin cans, used cereal boxes, plastic fruits etc.... Decide how you are going to price the items, make some paper money and don't forget the shopping cart (you could just use a basket or a box). Decide who gets to shop and who gets to be the shopkeeper. Help your children make a shopping list and then start shopping.

2. Make Prop Boxes:
Girls love to play hair dressers. You could prepare a hairdressing prop box with stuff like combs, brushes, clips, empty bottles of shampoo, conditioner, cream, rollers, and an old hairdryer (without the cord of course).
How about a medical prop box? A white shirt/coat for the doctor, plastic medical toys, old clipboard with recycled paper, empty small bottles for make believe medicine, and used scarves or towels as bandages and blankets. I'm sure kids will have lots of fun making up injuries and illnesses then figuring out how to remedy it.

You could also have a restaurant box. Put in some paper plates, paper money, cutlery and aprons. Help the children figure out what goes into the menu and then they can practice ordering, serving and eating. Great way to learn about table manners and how to behave when eating out.

3. Dress Up Box:
Great way to recycle some of that stuff in the cupboard such as hats, coats, scarves, dresses, shirts, shoes and accessories. Children love to experiment with different looks and pretend to be someone else.

4. Play Pretend to be Mommy/Daddy:
Don't you wish your children knew what you have to do everyday? Even better, would you like to know what your children think you do everyday? Well, here is your chance. If you work in the office, then set up a mini workstation, as similar to yours as possible. If you are a stay-at-home-mom running around all day, then the stage is already set as your home is your office. Discuss the things you encounter and explain some of your responsibilities. Then have them play you (and maybe you can play them.)

5. Set Up School:
Create a schoolroom setting with chairs and desks. Of course someone has to play teacher and someone else has to be the student. You could always recruit dolls to be the other students. Don't forget about the homework bit. You could also create a Principal's office and have situations where students get sent there.

I'm sure you or your children can come up with many more ideas for creative play. If there is a certain issue you would like to tackle, why not use this method? It won't sound like a lecture, you may learn something you didn't know through your children's self expression, plus you involve them in the problem solving. Above all, I'm sure they will treasure the time you spend with them, making the experience most invaluable.

Learn more about Activity Preschool Education plus find articles, information, resources & tips to help your preschoolers learn more at http://preschoolerslearnmore.info

Video Source: Youtube

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