Playing games and spending time with the little ones is great fun. Not only is it quality time together, but it helps them develop. Children’s brains are continuously soaking up information.
Playing pretend is an age-old game that comes in limitless forms. Creating games, new worlds, and characters can be more than it seems. Little do the kids know, but playing pretend helps develop creativity, collaboration, brainstorming, and social skills. In today’s world, the rising issue of too much screen time may limit children’s ability to pretend. They may get bored with their toys easily and seem only to be captivated by extended periods of the TV.
These are issues we’re very conscious of at Sprouts, we know controlled screen time is a priority and sometimes a challenge for parents. We all want children to be happy entertaining themselves as this leads to confidence, self-awareness, and a positive mindset as they grow older.
Imaginary games are among our favourite childhood pastimes, so why not share the magic with your little ones? Try looking back at your own childhood and bring back some of your favourite activities. That could mean any number of things to you, but here are our suggestions:
- Take the family to the park and search for fairies, goblins, and magical creatures among the trees and rocks.
- Build a castle fort in your backyard out of cardboard boxes and paint it however you like. Play dress up with king and queen costumes (or whatever you fancy) and pretend to rule your domain and royal subjects.
- Have an old-fashioned tea party. Gather some friends (imaginary or otherwise) then sit down for tea and snacks over the conversation. This works well if everyone creates a character to play, dresses up, and perhaps use name tags.
- Try replacing toys for a day or a week with objects that serve no specific purpose. Put out pinecones, cut-out shapes, variously textured fabric snippets, and blocks. Observe what your child does with what’s available to them
Sensory games focus a little more on what the child can see and relies on them to engage by communicating. These games help boost memory and develop motor skills.
- Gather pieces of scrap fabric that have different textures and sizes and let your toddler explore and touch the fabrics while you supervise. Describe the fabrics to your child as they explore. This will help develop and heighten their sensory skills.
- Organise a scavenger hunt! Send your toddler searching for objects around the house. The hunt could be based on commands, for example "Find me something round" or "Find me something blue". Observe what they bring back to you and ask them questions like, "Which one is bigger?"
- Hide-and-seek is a popular but fun game. It teaches your toddler problem solving skills as they try to find you or, hide from you!
- Place blocks of the same colour in front of your toddler and make sure one of them is different from the rest. Ask your Sprout to identify the odd one out!
We hope this reminded you of fond childhood memories. At Sprouts, we believe there is no limit to the benefits of creative and imaginative play. Wishing you an explorative month!
- Supervision is important when playing
- Choose games appropriate for your child's age and stage; all children develop at different stages.
- Always read instructions when it comes to toys as some parts could be hazardous
- Have fun!
Sprouts In-Home Childcare educators explore different types of games and how they can help your children with their developmental skills. We aim to develop strong bonds to help them progress and grow for the future. If you would like to know more about how we can help your children or how you can help other children,contact us today.