By Tara Hernandez, Professional Mom Blogger, Hula Hooping Mom
Imagination, pretend play, and dress up are something all children have in common. Imagination plays a very important role in a child’s up bringing. It helps them to be creative thinkers and will help them to “branch” out of normal everyday life. When we think of pretend play we usually think of small children, but really pretend play is good for any age. Not only can small children use pretend play to play Doctor, Mom, Dad, Teacher, etc… but we can also use pretend play to teach children how to react to certain situations and about different occupations. Here are some ideas to get the imagination flowing in your children.
- Pots & Pans – Get out the pots, pans and wooden spoons and start a marching band. We save our kids old dress shoes / boots to wear and make hats out of newspaper. They then each get a pot, pan and spoon. They love marching around the house. This is a good way to get them interested in music and playing instruments.
- Can I be the Teacher? Since my youngest daughter started school this is by far her favorite past time! She will line up all her dolls and stuffed animals in her room. She will then put on her sun glasses and some nice shoes. Reading is her favorite thing to do, besides scolding the “students” who are not listening!
- Once a month have an “Around the World” dinner. Do some research with your children about different countries and Ethnics? Decorate your dining room to give it the feeling of the Country. Serve that countries food, look up some of their traditions and dress the part. You can buy a map at the dollar store to help, this will not only teach the kids about different cultures, but will help them learn where each country is located; which is required in school.
- Save your Halloween costumes and use them for dress up. Put on your princess gown and make believe you are going to the ball. My son loves his Air Force jump suit and puts it on at least once a month, he also was a pirate one year, and we used that costume at his last birthday party where the theme was Pirates!
- To help teach the cost of money to our kids we play store. It helps them to learn the value of money. Set up store on your dining table. Place a price tag on each item, and then give your children a certain amount in play money. Let them bring it to you, the cashier and try to figure out how much money will add up to the amount of the price tag.
- Use large boxes to create a cave in the forest where the bears live, or lay sheets over two chairs and make a tent for a campout.
- Be a pirate and go on a treasure hunt! Use black eyeliner as face paint to help create that pirate look. Hide fun treasures around the yard or in the home and create a treasure map to the treasure.
- Reverse the rolls. You and your husband be the children and have your little ones be the parents. This also lets you see how your children see you. I don’t do that, do I? LOL!
Things are so different today than they were years ago. Technology today is taking away the time we spend with our children. To often time is rushed and the days are hurried through. Turn off the TV, video games, cell phones and the computers. Use your imagination, get down to your children’s level and see what fun you can create.