‘I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells’ (Dr. Seuss)
I love this quote. It reminds me that play is not only lots of fun, but it also helps children learn and develop many skills.
Play helps children learn to:
- use their bodies
- share their ideas and communicate with others
- solve problems
- build their imagination
- express their feelings
- get along with others
- make sense of their world
While our children may not be able to go out and play with others at the moment there are lots of great play ideas that you can do at home.
You and your children can find lots of great things to play within and around your home. The added benefit is that these objects can be played with in many different ways each day!
Use rolled up catalogues and newspapers to make bats and balls. Newspapers can make great maps, pirate hats or dinosaur tails!
Turn empty food packets and boxes in to a shop or use them for pretend cooking. Build amazing box buildings, dinosaurs, trains and homes out of boxes and tubes from around the house.
See how big a tower you can build stacking empty boxes on top of each other!
What might happen if you changed the order of the boxes that you stacked or the design?
Objects found in nature such as sticks, leaves, flowers, stones, dirt and sand can be used in many ways during play. You can cook with them, create artwork, build with them, balance on them, or use them to make homes for lots of different characters (animals and people).
Play dress-ups in clothes, hats and scarves. Use towels, sheets and blankets to make beds for babies, water and grass for animals and cubby houses and forts.
Make playdough using this no-cook recipe from Kidspot and let your imagination go wild! You can add the natural objects (sticks/ rocks) or make ‘food’ for your child’s home café.
There doesn’t have to be set rules in play, allow your child to explore, problem solve, make mistakes and then do it all over again!
For more information about the benefits of play or if you are wanting more play ideas try some of these websites. The raising children’s network has play ideas for toddlers and pre-schoolers. No Time for Flashcards has lots of great play and craft ideas. There are some great ooey, gooey sensory play activities at Babyology. Or try a virtual playgroup or music group with Playgroups Victoria.
Most of all have fun!
As a carer or parent, you might like to understand more about your child’s speech and language development. With Speech Pathology Week 2020 fast approaching (23-29 August) these resources from Speech Pathology Australia may help!