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Let’s Have Fun and Play!

Holli & Heidi Playing Dress Up
Kids create new universes everyday. Part of creativity is critical thinking... How do I create a fort or a tea set out of these yogurt containers and plastic dishes? Though they may not say the words, they relate to the objects and start planning. They create in their worlds much of what they have seen and want to see - such as acting like a dolphin or walking around the house on all fours like a cat. They learn by repeating, not only adults, but by using their own imaginations.

A Few Options to Help Encourage Play

Use dress-up clothes, of course! My niece was just here for several days and every night she went into my wife’s closet, pulled out shoes and dresses and gave us all a fashion show. It’s fun and simple to be a movie star with clothing, hats, purses, and high heals. She also used running boots to pretend to be a forest ranger deep in the woods watching bears. A world can be found in dress-up and dressing up helps create that world.

Colorful paints and markers and a giant piece of paper is like having a blank canvas just waiting for your boy or girl to explore. This is a great way for kids to create, when they literally have a rainbow at their fingertips!

What kid over the generations hasn’t created a fort or tent in their room using mom’s blankets and sheets? Friends and family are often invited in to visit. My little girl recently had a “tent” in her room for about a month. While it was up, she had the time of her life imagining the African plains and animals with her stuffed animals and dolls. She always had her favorite blanket with giraffes to keep her comfortable at night amongst the lions and tigers.

Stuffed animals and dolls have been around forever, because they most closely resemble real life. Just a few dolls and animals can create a stronger bond with you, your child, and the world. Encourage them to play. Play creates a better, more interesting world and helps the child develop critical thinking and spatial intelligence as well. Yet more importantly, it makes them smile and laugh.

~ Douglas