It’s the start of summer and our family has already enjoyed a wonderful mix of adventures thanks to travel and exploring the outdoors but I admit, when at home we've succumbed to TV more than I'd like, so I've been researching activity and exploration to encourage a child's imagination and playfulness at home.
1. Have materials on hand! We love having a craft drawer full of crayons, paper, stickers, and play-dough, but I'm also constantly on the lookout for materials that can be recycled and repurposed into art. Water bottle caps can be the perfect start to googly eyes, and empty toilet paper rolls can transform into bracelets, building materials, or a pretend telescope. Leave it to a child’s imagination to create something new, beautiful, and fun!
2. Encourage pretend play -- the Snickerdoos specialty! Pretend play is a remarkable tool for learning and growth. From using new vocabulary to practicing cooperation, we love witnessing the transformative power of play as children create stories and characters with their vivid imaginations. It can be helpful to provide props like tea cups, a children’s cash register, or a Snickerdoos costume to spark and encourage pretend play.
3. The next one is simple and no tools or materials are necessary: Ask questions!Children are great at being naturally curious and asking questions, and it is fun to flip the script and be curious with them, too! Ask them about their feelings and experiences. What do you love to do with your friends? Tell me about your favorite adventure? You will be expanding their use of vocabulary and getting a peek into their mind.
4. Spend time outside! The great outdoors provide us with an incredible landscape for learning and calming. While outside in your own yard, dig in deeper with a scavenger hunt or by initiating collecting and sorting of leaves, flower, rocks, etc. Both scavenger hunts and collecting provide opportunities for children to discover and adventure in a familiar place while stretching their views and interests.