Written by Team ParentCircle and published on 09 January 2020.
Nature gifts every child with a vivid sense of imagination, but as he grows up, his ability to imagine takes a back seat.
The act of imagination fills a child with energy and excitement. By imagining, a child comes up with umpteen questions, ways of doing things, and invents new games and what not.
Role-play is an easy way of encouraging a child to imagine, and keep her ability to visualise alive and kicking while she grows up. Parents and schools should come up with ideas of role-play to promote imagination in their child during the preschool years.
Julie Meighan in her article, 'Role-Play in Early Years Settings', published on the website of Teach Preschool says, "Role-play is a very important part of a child's education. The imagination is a powerful tool which as we know is innate in some children but needs encouraging in others. It is important that preschools provide children with the opportunity to develop their imagination."
Role-play provides both children and adults the opportunity to be what they want to be, to visit places that don't exist, or do things that are just not possible. The possibilities are just endless. So, flip through the pages of this ClibBook to see how you can also indulge in role-play along with your child.
Role-play is a very important part of a child's education. Imagination is a powerful tool which, as we know, is innate in some children but needs encouraging in others. It is important that preschools provide children with the opportunity to develop their imagination. In order to accomplish this they have to equip the children with spaces, scenarios, props and the support they need to explore their real life or imaginary worlds. Imaginative play not only aids intellectual development but also improves children's social skills and their creativity.
More at: www.teachpreschool.org
Children nowadays face a lot of societal pressures. We expect them to be achievers in school or sports, have many friends and be better than the next kid. Parents tend to push their children to mingle with other kids, putting them in the spotlight. However, this does not only increase your kid's shyness, it also makes them feel insufficient and affects their overall confidence level.
Shyness is not unusual with children, even with adults. Research states that approximately 15-20% of infants are born shy, and in the long run, if not corrected, can cause problems. Being exposed to something unfamiliar causes us to be careful with what we do or say, and for kids, almost everything in this world is new. Thus, causing fear and anxiety and preventing them from taking actions such as saying hello to other kids and joining with their play time. On the other hand, shyness can also be inherited. According to kidshealth.org, 20% of people have genetic tendency to be shy.
As parents, we are concerned with how we can help our kids overcome shyness and develop interpersonal skills. We can help them by implementing or using these social activities and play ideas for shy kids.
According to University of New England, one effective way of improving children's social skills is to encourage them to rehearse it. Using puppets or a stuffed toy is a good way to start, and act out a scenario which shy kids might be having difficulties with. Introductions are usually the hardest part so practice saying "Hi" or "Hello" and let them hear the best responses to questions such as "how are you today?"
When telling your child a bedtime story, use a book about overcoming shyness such as "Little Miss Shy" by Roger Hagreaves or "Shy Charles" by Rosemary Wells. This works best when you thoroughly explain the obstacles the character faced and what they did to surpass it. Also, asking your kid if there were any instances she felt the same way will be helpful. Stop every now and then and exchange questions and answers. This activity cultivates his imagination and helps him understand the importance of socialising and overcoming shyness.
Let Him Bring His Treasures
If your kid is passionate about airplanes, let him bring his toy airplanes to school. Just having it on his pocket, would help him feel he belongs. Aside from the classroom, he can also bring it to the playground. Let him play by himself in the beginning and encourage him to invite other kids later on. Tell your kid that he can show his toys to other kids as well. This is a great step towards helping kids become more sociable.
Fill a small box with toys that involve interaction with others, such as puzzle pieces or building blocks, and place it among a small group of children, including yours. Have them find their partner and mix it up again after 15 to 20 minutes. This helps children interact freely and spontaneously, thus making it natural for them to mingle with other kids.
This is best done during parties or other celebration. Try games such as tug of war, or untie the rope, which requires teamwork. Interactions from these play ideas will be valuable in terms of reducing your kid's shyness. Also, this will help them understand the importance of working as a team and determine the role of each member in order to gain victory.
Allow Your Kid to Play Freely
An infographic by PlaygroundEquipment.com shows that 80% of elementary school principals agree that recess is necessary for attaining academic success of children. This means it's important to let them have their regular playtime. Encouraging them to play freely helps them practice introducing themselves and interacting with other kids the way they are comfortable with. You can stay there and show your kid that she's safe and you're watching to make her feel less anxious. Show her you are happy with her playing with other children but watch from a distance.
Engage your kids in arts and crafts activities with other children. Let them help you bake cookies or make and design greeting cards. This nourishes and enhances creativity and at the same time, helps them accept ideas from other kids and share their own. Interaction while trying to reach a goal help children become less shy since they wouldn't be focusing on the conversation, rather on the activity.
Early development is crucial especially with their social and communication skills. Teaching kids how to interact and showing them there is nothing to be scared of early on helps shape their success in the adult world and will make it easier for them in the long run. With today's technology and children's easy access to it, it becomes their option to stay at home and enter their own virtual world instead of playing with other kids. As a parent, it's an uphill battle. But we can surely fight back by using these time-tested activities to shake off shyness.
More at: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk
The mind of a child is the most interesting and beautiful thing in the world. They think, act and react in their own ways! A curious child will always be attentive and will raise questions when needed, he/she will be receptive to things which make him/her curious. A smart and quick way to grab the attention of kids is to show them things that interest them. At Learning Curve, we believe a curious mind is an artist's workshop and all children are but budding artists!
A sure shot way to get the curious mind of the child active is via role-play. When you tell a child a story, he/she listens. When you get them to role-play, they get involved, engrossed and are in a better position to learn. In this fun and playful teaching method, a child plays the part of a particular character within a story. This method of teaching is effective as it involves kids completely in the process and energizes them. Kids find it interesting to enact or impersonate the characters. They are willing to learn by following the teacher's lead and replicating actions. And hence, role-playing plays an important role in feeding a kid's mind with more curiosity, which in turn results in smarter learning.
Now, it's all not just fun and games. Pretending to be a character is definitely a fun and an educative activity, but at the same time, it is an important part of a child's development. Engaging in role-playing helps the kid to get into character and act out a role or a real life context. It is beneficial as it helps develop communication and language skills. In addition, role-playing certain situations helps children better understand these situations and make sense of real-life circumstances. Here, they get the opportunity to explore, investigate and experiment. Enacting scenarios helps provide them with a "first-hand" experience of the story or context. Further more, children are encouraged to express their ideas and feelings when role-playing.
At The Learning Curve, we strongly believe that role-playing is an effective learning tool as it encourages children to become active participants in the process of learning. It allows children to explore their creativity and put their imagination to play. In essence, role-play provides opportunities to develop skills in various different areas of the curriculum for example numbers, history, and culture. And hence, in all our centres, we actively promote role-playing as a teaching/learning tool.
More at: www.learningcurveindia.co.in
Kids like to pretend! They like to pretend to be doctors, vets, check out operators but they most like to pretend to be a grown up!
What is Imaginative Play and How to Encourage it? We as adults can often under value imaginative play. Play is a child's way of engaging and making sense of the world. Role-play may appear to be a very simple activity, yet within it, young children learn practical life skills such as dressing themselves, how to cooperate and share with others. Read more.....
My girls spent hours planting, re-planting, weeding, sprinkling seeds and watering their imaginative play garden. Read more....
Create an opportunity for your child to take on the role as a pizza chef and play creatively as they pretend make different pizzas using felt pizza toppings and other props. Read more.....
: Imaginative play would have to be one of my most favourite kinds of play. Today I am sharing with you our imaginative play Vet Hospital and some simple ideas for setting one up in your home to encourage this play. Read more.....
: Imaginative play washing line is so simple to put together but yet so effective for kids to pretend, engage and make sense of their world. Practising and experimenting with the various skills they will take into adulthood. Read more.....
: Watching Mum and Dad washing a baby sibling is an example of an experience that children copy and re-enact. Watching and learning from this experience then practising, imitating and experimenting this through imaginary play. Read more.....
We have a gorgeous book which comes with a CD that tells the story of the adventure of going on a bear hunt. My kids have played this CD over many times as I watch them pretend to walk through long, wavy grass and run away from a bear. So I thought I would bring this story to life some more by creating the different scenes in the book. Read more.....
: Felt is a sensory toy, brightly coloured, hands on playing, creative and great for storytelling. It brings so much imagination and learning to play times. Read more.....
: Imaginative play bakers shop was inspired by our mini cupcakes which we made previously. They make a brilliant prop to encourage the imaginary world in a bakers shop. Read more.....
I truly believe that the simplest things bring the most fun! We have been making a homemade Car Wash Tunnel for the kids using simple items you will find around the house. This is such a fantastic activity to do with toddlers, older babies and pre-schoolers to help build up gross motor skills and have lots of fun inside when it is raining outside. Read more.....
: The fun and joy of exploring the imaginary world of an ice cream shop.
Today I am sharing some ideas for setting up an imaginative play ice cream shop. My girls had so much fun with this (and Dad) and took part in adding their own ideas of what they thought an Ice Cream Shop should have. Read more.....
: Encourage imaginative play by setting up a Babies Care Corner. This would be a fabulous imaginative play area to set up for families who are expecting or have a new baby and for children who have a younger sibling. Read more.....
: There are so many wonderful places in the home where children can play imaginatively, creatively and get active indoors. Kids will create imaginary worlds to explore and play using the most inexpensive and simple things you can find right at home. Here are a few ideas for you to try Read more.....
: It's raining, it's pouring.....and we have been stuck inside a fair bit lately with the weather.
To entertain the kids and give them something to do we set up an indoor camping trip to beat the boredom and promote imaginative play. Here are a few ideas for setting up your own Indoor Campsite. Read more.....
More at: www.learning4kids.net
Stimulating kids' creativity is easier than you think! These fun role-playing ideas for kids can be as simple or elaborate as you'd like, using items you likely already have lying around the house. (If not, "making do" is great for young minds, too.)
Here are 50 unplugged solutions for hours of fun, cooperation, and imagination. Let your kids take these starters and run with them! Be sure to download our "Today, Let's Play..." version for kids. Tape it inside a cupboard, and save it for an "I'm bored!" day.
1. Library: Kids can make library cards and a "scanner" (or whatever checkout method your local library uses), organize their books, or plan a read-aloud story time.
2. Zookeeper: Overturn some laundry baskets over stuffed animals, with a large bowl for some rubber duckies, food and water bowls, leashes, etc. Or let the kids be the animals!
3. Post office: Save envelopes from your junk mail, add some stickers for stamps. Have kids craft and decorate a mailbox out of a tissue box or shoebox, then write mail to deliver to family and friends.
4. Hair salon: Girls love grabbing their dolls, sticking them in a doll highchair, and going to town with some brushes and combs, hair clips/barrettes/etc., a spray bottle, and a bib or blanket as an apron.
5. Restaurant: Grab a memo pad, a towel for the waiter or waitress' arm, an upturned cardboard box with some plastic lids attached for a stove, and kid-sized dishes ... you get the idea.
6. Knights and maidens: Boys can make swords out of, well, anything; girls would love a manila-folder-turned-cone-shaped-princess-hat with a filmy scarf flowing out of the top-maybe with their own sword, too. And there's always the old go-to broom-handle-turned-horse.
7. Factory: Grab some rinsed-out recycling-old containers, etc.-with some paper brads, masking tape, and other fairly harmless items to attach one thing to another. You might even give the kids a mission, like creating a boat, or a device to keep an egg from breaking when it's dropped from counter height.
11. Airplane with pilot: Pull some chairs into two lines to look like an airplane cabin-or just enough chairs to look like a cockpit. Let the kids do the rest.
12. Train: Arrange chairs or laundry baskets as cars; office supply stores sell rolls of tickets. Better yet, have the kids make their own. Older kids can map out the routes of their train across the country.
13. Bank: Kids make their own paper "money" and use pennies, paper clips, etc. for coins. Explain terms like loan, teller, and interest.
14. Office: Load them up with old office supplies, something to resemble a computer (even a folded piece of cardboard can work, especially if they decorate it!), etc.
15. Laundry: Throw all the doll clothes into the washing machine-real or pretend. Let them hang clothes on a clothesline, "iron" the clothes, etc.
16. Circus: Grab hula hoops, stools, costumes, stuffed animals, even face paint and material for posters. What tricks will they perform? Surprise your kids with popcorn or peanuts for a snack, or let them fill paper bags that they place in a shallow box with a stapled-on strap (an instant vendor!).
17. Theater: This one has endless possibilities! Someone can make tickets, write a script, make costumes, make a set, etc. If you have a clothesline and a couple of sheets, a wide doorway, or just a bunk bed on which you can hang blankets-voila! Instant stage.
19. Entrepeneur: Have your child think of something they would like to "sell" for a negligible amount (a penny, a nickel, a bottle cap) to family members, which they create. It might be stories they write, cookies they bake, pictures they draw, Lego creations they construct. Or you might let your child create a lemonade stand, or sell friends a dozen cookies for a low price that covers cost of goods.
23. Veterinarian: Get out a doctor kit (or use an invisible one) and some stuffed animals as you give them a checkup on the kitchen table. Don't forget the food and water bowls!
24. Grocery store: Grab some stickers, non-perishables, and some coins or fake money.
25. Race car/taxi driver: Two rows of two chairs with a plate for a steering wheel and you're good! Wait till you hear the places your kids are "dropped off."
26. School (the classic). Hey, your younger kids might even learn their ABC's from the older siblings from this one!
27. Police/detective: Make up a story about a mystery that's happened (gasp!) in your own home: stolen cookies, a broken vase. The kids will need to make up their own clues and ending. As a added challenge, kids can take turns leaving clues to the mystery around the house.
28. Newspaper: Let the kids pick roles of editor, reporter, layout artist, etc. They can put out their own paper on "current events" in your household and neighborhood.
29. Artist: Paint a landscape outside with an easel and paper plate "palette."
31. Safari: Tape a couple of toilet paper tubes together to make some binoculars. Kids can be the explorers-or the animals!
34. Band: Make instruments out of household items and recyclable containers. Have a showtime, and don't forget the posters!
36. Act out your favorite fairy tale or children's book.
37. Secret mission: Dress as spies. Make an imaginary mission. Or try a real one-how many trash cans can they swipe and empty without you seeing them?
39. Missionary: Be a missionary pilot; feed people some rice, or teach them to read; teach people about the Bible; translate Bible verses into a new "language" made up by your child. Or maybe your child is a missionary in a closed country, so they have to hold an underground church in the closet or basement. Locate countries on a map-maybe with missionaries from your church-learn about them, and pray for them (for real!).
40. Construction: Consider having your child make "buildings" with cushions, chairs, and household items.
41. Camping: You can create the classic bedsheet-over-the-table tent, or make it as elaborate as you want with flashlights, stuffed "wild" animals, backpacks, canteens, hiking around the house, s'mores in the microwave, sleeping bags, or a picnic lunch.
42. Sailors: Laundry baskets are great for this, or even just a porch with a rail to mount a flag. Find a recipe for hard tack; bring out some suitcases; swab the deck with a mop; use paper towel tubes as telescopes. Let them "fish" over the side with sticks and string or ribbon. Make sailor hats from online templates. Get out a map, decide on an ocean to sail, and learn to use a compass.
45. Garbage truck: Form "straps" on the top of an open cardboard box using pieces of duct tape stuck together, and put the cardboard box (decorated to look like a truck) over your child's head in a similar fashion to a sandwich board. Have him or her "drive" around the house to grab trash cans and empty them in a larger waste bin.
47. DIY Carnival: Have your kids create games, prizes, and tickets. This role play might be a good one for involving the neighbor kids!
48. Author/illustrator: Grab a sheaf of white paper; fold in half and staple. Add a construction paper cover if you'd like.
49. Farmer: Feed some animals-stuffed or real. Plant some seeds. Sit in a cardboard box or chair "tractor." Rake or dig something.
50. Boot Camp: Set up an "obstacle course" of pillows, cushions, and chairs inside, or whatever your yard allows outside. One child may time the others with a stopwatch or kitchen timer.
More at: momlifetoday.com
Let's hear it for play! These dramatic play ideas for toddlers and preschoolers are open ended and fun!
We use our dramatics area for pretend play every day. We usually change it every 2 weeks so that the preschoolers have enough time to explore.
Pretend play is an important part of children's development. They learn by imagining and doing. If you stand back and observe children involved in pretend play, they are often mimicking what they've seen adults do. We take all of this into consideration when planning what to place in our dramatic play area.
In this post I've selected some fun pretend play activities that will keep toddlers and preschoolers engaged.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
You can find more dramatic play activities on my Pinterest board.
More at: teaching2and3yearolds.com
Pretend play is not only fun - but so important for a child's development! I love these 20 pretend play ideas for preschoolers.
More at: mylifeandkids.com
Do your kids like to pretend or role-play? What is your favorite way to set it up? Here are some ideas. Hope that you have tons of fun playing and learning with your children. Bear in mind that preschoolers who can memorize and act out stories will have great comprehension skills when they get to school.
More at: playtolearnpreschool.us
Pretend play is one of the essential preschool activities for children. When I would meet a new student who did not know how to engage in pretend play my heart would sink and immediately I'd run through all my ideas in my head to see which would spark their interest and open the door to a world of limitless possibilities. That is what pretend play is, but that isn't why it's so important. Kids aren't just living in what many adults would call a fantasy world, instead most of their play has deep roots in reality, and it offers them a chance to practice social situations, adult roles and even play out fears and anxiety in a safe place.
See why it's so important?
Still starting this journey can be hard for families so below I have some easy to set up scenarios and easy to make props serve as launching pads. Don't make the boundaries too rigid, just use these ideas to set the scene and let your child run with it, you sit back and play along. There is no need for specific goals - just play. Trust me they are learning more than we think they are.
These are just our favorites. Browse through all our Pretend Play Ideas Here.
What does your child like to pretend to be?
More at: www.notimeforflashcards.com
Why change your home corner? A role-play area is an important area of any early years environment and really allows children to explore the ideas they have from their home cultures, stretch their imaginations. Role-play is fantastic for development in so many areas including communication and language, personal, social ...
More at: www.earlyyearscareers.com
Classical Fun For Toddlers, introduces four famous classical tunes with songs, movement, actions and imagination. The best introduction to the world of Classical music that anyone could hope for. We all know about the benefits of Classical music for kids and every parent wants to help their child to develop as best they can. It's [...]
More at: www.letsplaykidsmusic.com
Want to do some music play, but can't remember the words to your favourite songs? Sing with your child using Baby Karaoke.
Giving your preschooler time, materials and space to be creative is very important.
Preschoolers like to be spontaneous in their creative play, so it's good to follow your child's lead. But there'll also be times when your child wants you to be more involved in guiding the play. By being actively involved, you can develop your child's skills and understanding even more.
It's important to send the message that there's more than one way to do something. For example, there's more than one way to draw a person, build a sandcastle or play a drum. This lets children know they don't have to conform to anyone else's ideas and they can go their own way.
Simple materials can stimulate your child's imagination and encourage unstructured play. Books, CDs, drawing materials, sound makers, playdough and wooden blocks are all good examples.
And a wide range of materials can develop your child's sense of touch. Yes, finger painting can be messy, but it's a great activity for sensory development.
It's important to encourage your child to keep going and finish artworks. But once your child says it's finished, it's finished!
And whatever artworks and forms your child comes up with, give your child lots of descriptive praise. For example 'I love the picture you drew. You really know how to put colours together'. This boosts self-esteem and encourages your child to keep going with the creative play.
You don't always need to give your child new play materials. Using everyday objects, and making it up as you go along, is a great way to encourage creative development.
Cover your table or floor with the tablecloth or newspapers. Fold the sheet of paper in half then unfold it. Get your child to put blobs of paint on one half of the paper, then fold the other half of the paper over the paint while it's wet and smooth the paper over the paint.
Unfold the paper carefully to reveal ... a fantasy winged animal! Encourage your child to add details to the picture - for example, spots, antennae, legs, a hat, maybe even a wand!
Get your child to make up a name for the winged animal and then help your child write the name on the paper.
You need some homemade and/or bought instruments. Homemade instruments can include saucepans, spoons, drums, bottles filled with rice, pasta or sugar, paper plates with metal curtain rings or bottle tops attached around the edge.
Lay the instruments on the floor and play them loudly (like an elephant), softly (like a cat), quickly (like a mouse), and slowly (like a tortoise). Encourage your child to copy the way you played the instruments.
Let your preschooler experiment with playing instruments loudly, softly, quickly and slowly. Make up stories to go with the sounds.
More at: raisingchildren.net.au
We love pretend play. It's so much fun to watch our kids imaginations run wild! Studies have consistently shown cognitive benefits of pretend play like language development. Plus, it's just fun!
This huge list of activities are perfect for encouraging our little ones to play pretend.
Doctor Kit - Make your own doctor kit your kids can use to play hospital or veterinarian!
Post Office - Use things from around your house to make a small pretend post office for your kids to play in.
Vet Clinic - Create your own vet clinic with these awesome free printables that includes a health form and an x-ray.
Pretend City - You can make an entire village out of paper bags with this incredible idea.
Play Tents - These fun play tents can transform your living room into a cafe, a space shuttle or a castle!
Silly Faces - Use these free printables to make silly faces and pretend to be someone else.
Pretend Birthday Party - Have a birthday party for your toys or stuffed animals and make them this pretend cake!
Cook Stove - Easily make a pretend stove for your kids to cook with. This idea is so fun!
Fake Food - Make pretend food out of felt for a make believe grocery store or cafe.
More at: kidsactivitiesblog.com
It doesn't take much effort to envision a shipping container as a pirate ship when you're 3 or 4-and, in fact, that sort of make-believe is critical to a child's development. "Imaginative play fosters creativity and helps children explore the world," says child psychologist David Elkind, Ph.D., author of The Power of Play. Make-believe also has therapeutic value, he says: "Children sometimes feel weak in comparison to adults, but when they engage in it they take the role of adults and heroes."
Thankfully, kids are hardwired to play pretend. In fact, in a recent Motherboard Moms poll nearly 75 percent of moms said their preschoolers engage in make-believe activities every day. That's great, Elkind says, because "Imaginations and creativity are like muscles: If you don't use them you lose them." Here are 14 easy ways to help get your little ones' creative juices flowing.
More at: www.parents.com
Young children love to role-play to learn about the world around them. Acting out different emotions through role-play can help children experience emotions ...
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