Today we’ve got a post for you which we wrote for our friends at Chalk Kids back in May. We think now is the perfect time to post this post on pocketnannies, in particular if older siblings are starting (or returning to) school this week). Now will be the perfect time to set up an ‘Invitation to play’.
We know that play is important for children but did you know that when a child plays learning occurs in ALL areas of their development. Play is an essential part of early learning. When children play they are developing cognitive, physical and socio-emotional skills. They are actively problem solving, expanding their curiosity and honing their verbal and non verbal skills. All these things further improve their confidence, empathy to others, cooperation and communication skills.
All of us at pocketnannies enjoy setting up areas for extended play to happen. Where there aren’t any set rules of how to play. Extended play allows children’s imaginations to snowball. A lot of the time extended play happens naturally when a child is really involved in their play but sometimes it is nice to set out a designated space to encourage this to happen. In this post is one example of how to set up a play space inviting your children to extend their play.
Some days children will need a little extra support to extend their play, other days you will see their imaginations really take off and they will be quick to extend the play beyond the toys/objects intended uses themselves. You can help support a child’s play by quietly playing with the objects yourself in new and interesting ways. Make sure you really listen to your child during this time and try hard not to lead the play yourself, follow your child’s lead.
Changing the environment can really change the way children play. Why not try taking the same materials into your garden or place in a water or sand tray.
Invitation to play with textures
- Craft match sticks
- Wooden blocks
- Play dough
- Pom poms
- different size pots/containers
Above we have shown you just how easy it is to set up an open play space for your children, using things you are likely to have around the house. Why not set up your own spaces, remember there are no set items you need, just let your child do the leading and have fun!
This open ended activity could lead to hours of fun..