Add These to Your Storm Preparedness List…

With Frankenstorm looming I thought now would be a good time to review some creative play ideas.  Why, you may ask.  Because if your house is like my house it’ doesn’t take many hours of being stuck inside for cabin fever to set in.  But parents delight in knowing that the boredom our kids may experience over the next few days may make them smarter!  A wise one once said, “a little boredom breeds creativity”.  So with that in mind arm yourselves with some of these great ideas to help your children grow their brains while the storm outside is brewing!

Creative, imaginative, pretend play is one of our favorite ways to play here at Milestones & Miracles.  Through this type of play kids can practice what they have observed, develop their interests, build language skills, gain social skills and create beyond what even we as adults can imagine.  A CNN article stated, “Want to get your kids into college?  Let them play.”  And the New York Times reported that the self-regulation skills that dramatic play develops “have been shown to predict academic achievement more reliably than I.Q. tests.”  It is important that we equip our children with what they need to engage in this type of play.  But first let’s define what constitutes pretend play.  Role playing and recreating familiar activities is the first type of pretend play our children engage in.  This is when they imitate us talking on the phone, cooking in the kitchen or mowing the lawn.  Role- playing usually involves realistic like props and actions played out by the child that they have seen an adult carry out.  By 18 months most children role-play.  Here are some examples of toys to support role-playing: doctor kit, play food/kitchen, dress up clothes, baby doll, play phone, plastic animals, doll house.

Imaginative play is the most sophisticated type of pretend play.  An example would be my son feeding the imaginary monsters under the pine trees at the soccer fields with the fallen pine needles and dirt.  This type of play involves the child imagining objects are something they aren’t.  This type of play happens around the age of 3 ½ and beyond.  Some examples of “toys” to support imaginative play are: colored scarves, wooden blocks, cardboard boxes, art supplies, things found in nature (dirt, sand, sticks, leaves).

So be prepared for Frankenstorm; gather your bottled water, candles and toys!  Clean out your closets for dress up clothes and raid your recycling bin to help your kids create and imagine their way through their boredom!

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