|October is Doc-Tober for Disney Junior! Your preschooler can see Doc McStuffins and her toy friends in new episodes on the Disney Junior TV channel and enjoy brand new Doc games and activities on DisneyJunior.com.au.|
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One thing I’ve discovered these school holidays are that our kids are coming to us more often asking for something to do. Before they had started school they were more content to just play. Now they need a schedule. They crave planned activities. And every hour they come back asking for instructions.
By the end of the holidays they’ve gotten into the groove of being back at home and not in a structured learning environment so they are more free to roam. It’s like they discover their own time clock and tap back into their imaginations again. With a little bit of help from me.
Here’s five ways to encourage imaginative play:
1) Build a cubby
Grab some blankets, throw them over your kitchen table and there you have it – an instant hideaway. Make it extra comfy for them. Pop some food and their water bottles in there. Get them to pick out some toys and stuff for drawing. Give them a torch. Make it their special space and let them go wild.
2) Do a treasure hunt
Give you kids paper and pens, get them to pick out a “treasure” and teach them how to draw treasure maps for each other. They can each take turns to hide the treasure and make the map. They love having an activity that they get to take charge in. And if you’re lucky they’ll make one for you too.
3) Get the craft box out
Save up some toilet rolls, boxes and empty Glad Wrap rolls. Get them to create animals and a cool house for them to live. They might need a bit of help cutting out doors and windows, but the less you do the more they feel a sense of ownership over their designs. You might even get to sneak in a cup of tea.
4) Role play.
At first you might need to set the scene for them, for example tell them to be vets in a jungle or doctors at a clown hospital. Direct them to the dress-ups and perhaps even encourage them to turn their role playing into an actual play they could perform later in the day. Depending on their ages they could even write the script and direct it.
5) Give them the iPad
I don’t mean let them have free reign, but there’s some awesome age appropriate apps that are fabulous for inspiring creativity and encouraging imaginations to go wild. We really love cartoon designing apps. They can draw the characters, pick from a whole range of quirky backgrounds and do all the characters’ voices. Some of the cartoons they create are hilarious. Many have farts in them.
Just giving your kids the prompts to use their imagination is all they need to tap into their creative sides. It gets them off the couch and the excitement on their faces when they’re lost in the moment is totally worth it. And you know, it might even give you a bit of breathing space which is always lovely.
Have you got any cool tips?