Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Creative Play

One thing my son loves to do is to dress up and play pretend. We have lots of costumes and outfits that he likes to try on during pretend time. Creative and pretend play can be really great for toddlers and preschoolers because it gives them the chance use all the new vocabulary and things they are learning. It doesn't have to be very expensive either. Here are a couple ideas you can use to 'build' your pretend play resources at home for your little boy or girl:
  1. Start a pretend toy box or bin. Putting all pretend toys and outfits in place will help your child be creative easier.
  2. Don't throw out old Halloween costumes. Save them and add them to your pretend play bin. If your child has outgrown it, donate it or give it to a friend with smaller children so they can enjoy pretending too.
  3. Buy Halloween costumes on sale. Starting around the last week of October, Halloween costumes go on clearance since stores want to get rid of all those extra costumes taking up space. Often prices are slashed quite a bit and you can find very inexpensive finds this way. Year-round you might also find deals by searching online.
  4. Use things from around the house. Old aprons, worn out Tupperware, extra measuring spoons, old spade and gloves, and even shoes you no longer wear yourself can become great sources of inspiration. Common things around the house can be great for getting children to explore new ideas and new things.
  5. Make your own costumes. This can be as simple as taking an old undershirt or a shirt that you can't get a stain out of and letting your child make their own masterpiece from it. You can let them color on it with markers, tie dye it, or even buy patches or cut out felt pieces and help them attach them. So if your child likes dalmatians, cut out little black pieces of felt or even sew on black buttons.
  6. Don't forget the accessories. Have cheap jewelry you no longer wear? Or broken watches? Things like old purses, ties, hats, shoes, jewelry, or even spare change for older children, can help make creative play more interesting and fun for kids. Kids like to be like mom and dad and what better way to do that than to dress up like mom and dad! Just don't be surprised if your child decides to be your pint-size double after that!
  7. Check out your local party supply stores. We were able to find lots of toy badges and party hats for super cheap that doubled as great dress up costumes. Even small finds like these can be great for kids.
  8. Play with your kids! Dress up is even more fun with a friend. Get involved by dressing up with your child and making up detailed stories about what a fire fighter or a tiger does. Make it an adventure for your child by encouraging all kinds of creativity!

Happy Playtime!
--The Unique Mom

No comments: