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Day 28 | 30 Days to Transform Your Play
Here we are with two days to go; my second last post before our big giveaway on Wednesday.
Today we are talking about pretend play; that magical play when our children drift off into their own world and give us glimpses through their narrations. Sarah (3yrs) spends most of her days lost in imaginative stories; it’s truly delightful.
This post is for her, and all those other little children who spend their days setting up magical worlds to explore.
Drawing on our children’s interests to enhance pretend play
“…children regularly act out dramas and offer profound observations, relating their own experiences and view of the world to other people, animals, and even objects…
Rather than seeing this world view as merely cute or dismissing it as undeveloped, why not draw on children’s unique perspectives to extend the learning process?
Teachers [and parents] can create dramatic play opportunities that specifically reflect children’s interests and encourage them to represent and further their understandings through their pretend play.”
~ Curtis & Carter: Learning Together with Young Children
We’ve been talking a lot about tapping into our children’s interests in order to create more meaningful play opportunities.
How can we draw on their unique perspectives?
How can we extend their interests and create experiences that specifically reflect [their] interests?
I think like much that we have been discussing over this month it comes down to watching and knowing our child and their interests and then offering inviting materials which will provoke them to delve deeper into their imaginations.
In the dress-ups box
Rather than buying commercial costumes, as your child’s interests grow in different areas, gather materials which will allow them to create their own costumes, play scenes and stories.
Think about props and accessories which will compliment the dress-up materials; things like:
Repurposed materials & props:
- old telephones
- phone books
- t.v remotes
- shaving mirrors
- old lace tablecloths
- old sheer curtains
- recycled materials
Costume ‘building’ materials:
- long pieces of ribbon
- velcro pieces
- bull clips
- cotton tape
- long strips of thick elastic
From the thrift store
- old wedding/bridesmaid dresses
- chunky jewellery
- hats, hats, hats
- glittery shoes
- old shirts
Space to Create
“Children need space in which to “work large” – space that is big enough and flexible enough to become anything they want it to be: a doctor’s office, a science lab, a grocery store…
If space is available, their work and their play will grow to fill it. In a small space, they might build tabletop models, in a large space, they can build a rocket big enough to play in….
In this open and flexible space, they can create models and props, make costumes, build large constructions… Empty space is full of possibilities.”
Something to think about
- Have a look through your dress-ups, what materials do you have which allow your child to create their own costumes, props and scenes?
- What could you add to your dress-ups which reflects your child’s interests ?
- Could you rearrange your playspace to create a large area for your child to create?