In a Nutshell: Join in the fun to encourage children to play creatively.
In order to write a post for this week, I needed to get my three-year-old and his little friend involved in an activity. Instead of the post I intended to write, I thought they were so cute I decided to share pictures of their distraction. We put up the play tents, gathered up all the stuffed animals, and filled play purses with pennies. Then we took turns being the Pet Shop Owner and Customer. As I tried to buy the baby jaguar, Brigham informed me that it only likes to eat broccoli. His friend asked, “Do you have enough water for this?” when I purchased the dolphin. It seems that most animals nowadays go for around $10.00. I thought that was a pretty thrifty deal for exotic pets! As they bought and sold, I slipped into the adjoining room. They’re still going strong.
I’ve found a secret to getting kids involved in an activity…play with them! Start making a road for cars out of blocks, putting together a puzzle, or putting all the baby dolls to bed. Enjoy the fun for a few minutes, and then let them continue on while you get other things done. I love the times I can just play and play and play, but other times I really need them to be independent. It almost never works just to say, “Why don’t you play with the trains?” But when I start the locomotives around the track and add some chugging noises, they (*almost*) always jump in. Have fun!
Join in! What are your favorite ways to get kids involved with something creative?