In this world that is so full of busyness for our children and parents, it can be hard to find time together for open-ended creative play.  Yet creative play helps your child develop imagination and problem-solving skills. Creative play is a vehicle for your child to naturally sort out developmental issues as she role-plays and experiments with outcomes of her actions. She can try on new behaviors in the safe harbor of creative play.

By listening to her play themes, you as a parent can gain insight into the small milestones of growing up that every child  works through during play. When you play with her, you can be a play guide, reflecting how she feels and encouraging her to consider alternatives as she plays. She may also be the director and ask you to say or do certain things in the play as she creates her story. Follow her leads.

You will be amazed at how a small bit of focused quality time one on one can create special bonds with your girl. 

Enjoy these 15 minute Together Time activities!

    A Walk-Up Close

A 15 minute together walk with a magnifying glass

Invite your girl to join you on a 15 minute walk and give her a magnifying glass to carry. (You might also take a bag to carry home treasures you find.)  Slow down the pace and look at sights on your walk up close and ask your child to tell about what she sees. Invite her to guide where you go and when you stop.

Ask questions that have no right or wrong answers like, “what do you think of that?” or “how do you think that got to be that way?”  Listen and enjoy where your girl’s curiosity leads you.  Maybe you’ll invent some new jumps and running moves – or maybe you’ll see a budding scientist in your midst. 

To vary your walk next time, let her decide on the place – it can be a museum or a shopping mall.

 

    Zap! Story Bags

Tell a fun story with props from home that “zap” out of a bag

You and your child each take your own bag around the house and gather 3-4 household items - time limit 3 minutes. Don’t let the other person see what you put in your bag.  

Ask your child to start the story: “Once upon a time there was ___.

Then you say ZAP! Your child pulls an item from your bag without peeking inside.  Then your child tells more of the story using that item in the story.  Then ZAP! You pull an item from your child’s bag and add that to the story. Continue until you finish the story or until you zapped all the surprises out of the bag. 

Be free and easy, just letting the story unfold – all that matters is having fun and letting creativity flow!

 

    Rockin' Sock Fun

Create some sock puppets and see what they have to say!

With your child, gather 4-5 different colored socks and 10 note cards or small pieces of paper.  Then help your girl write one feeling word per card – invite your girl’s suggestions of feelings she has, such as excited, happy, silly, mad, sad, scared, left out, or whatever she suggests.  Turn the cards written-side-down in a stack and mix them up.  Invite her to put a sock on each hand and have 1 sock at a time pick a feeling word. Then that sock needs to say or sing a sentence or chant about that feeling as you have that puppet act out that feeling.  Continue with the other socks and act out the feelings. Be flexible with where the play goes –if she wants to change a feeling or stay with one, support her expression and follow her lead.

After your girl is finished expressing feelings for the puppets, take a minute and show her how to be a ventriloquist for one of the talking socks and invite her to try it.  Enjoy rockin’ with the creative play!