By Small Talk Speech Pathology

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Don't Let Your Preschooler Forget How to Play - by Janet Lansbury

As hard as it is to believe, there are children as young as 4 or 5 already showing signs of stress and burn-out because parents and teachers are misinformed about their educational needs.  Some have even been mis-educated to the extent that they’ve forgotten how to play.
Janet Lansbury investigates this concerning trend in this article on her blog Elevating Child Care

Ideas to encourage imaginative play:
  • A dress-up box. No matter what sex your child is, try to provide clothing and props (handbags, pirate patches, veils, jewellery, light sabre) that will cover the needs of both sexes. Who are you to judge if your daughter wants to be Darth Vadar?
  • A recycling box. If you have a stash of empty containers, cereal boxes and milk cartons, your preschooler will be able to turn the lot into a supermarket, or a robot, a space-ship, or Darth Vadar… the list is endless.
  • Paper, pencils, crayons, glue. These are all must-have items for making a stop sign, playing schools, making a pet mouse, or a pirate hat.
  • Second-hand kitchen utensils. Every make-believe house should have them! How can you cook an imaginary cake for your imaginary husband without a wooden spoon?
  • Building blocks. What can't you make with building blocks?
  • A secret spot. Clearly, if you know about the secret spot then it's hardly a secret; but a quiet spot tucked out of the way - behind the sofa, under the kitchen table, a hidey-hole in a garden bush, down the side passage - will allow her to conjure up her own magnificent world without you barging in and ruining her illusion.
  • Dolls House. Add small boxes of fabric to the dolls house so your child can create new clothes or furniture
  • Playdough. Add interesting items to your playdough materials e.g. dried pasta, stone, sticks, gumnuts or matchsticks 

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