Hola! I hope everyone is enjoying some beautiful weather lately! I wanted to chat about the importance of keeping imagination play alive! Our society has changed tremendously with screens and social media outlets. This change has effected our children's play, and day by day they are losing their imagination. Some kind of way we have to keep our children involved with this type of play for as long as they will engage in it. We may have to lead the way in role play and adding their toys as props. Sometimes, they want us to expand on their vision and work together to reach the goal of what they imagine to bring alive.
This particular imagination play went as far as the children wanting to create an office and they needed a laptop. Working together this is what we came up with to create a laptop we cut a cardboard box and the rest the children did on their own! They carried this laptop all around the house and took it on car rides insisting they had emails to get back to for work. I was so delighted how they cherished, and took care of their laptops as if they were real.
Here is a doctor office that we set up the children took off with a patient actually getting sick in their office and caring for them right then and there. (Talk about bringing play to life). I felt bad watching the patient go through this and was so pleased to see how the children took care of their patient.
Imagination play could start as young as one years old, or younger. Playing with our children helps add an extended thought process for them to envision along the way. Imagination play provides problem solving skills, cooperative play skills, solo play skills, and pre-reading skills. (Just a few examples)
Another example would be in the housekeeping area as a restaurant. Have the children invite their dolls, or stuff animals to be customers. If your children can write have them create a menu even if it has misspelled words, or we can write what they would like on the menu if they are very young. Now the children are engaged in print rich reading/writing skills with their play, or pre-reading skills for the younger children.
You could use anything to bring to life what a child envisions by leading the way. Here are some examples of live imagination play that lasts for days and weeks!
Here we were swim instructors. The children lined up the student and created a diving board giving each student a rank number on their dives. We recorded each students name and number on paper. This activity lived for two weeks before they would put it away. It was a lot of fun watching them instruct.
This is a living room with seats and a flat-screen TV.
Later, they added Beenie Boos to watch TV!
Expanding their play through imagination today could expand their dreams in the future. Teaching them that there is no limit in play could translate into no limit in dreams and aspirations!
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