“The animal does not play because he is young, he has a period of youth because he must play.” Karl Groos
I love the arts now. I really do love the arts. I’ve been to the theatre many times but this time it was different. A friend had given me free tickets to see Warheads at Park Theatre, in London. The first thing I noticed was the props. What props? There were very few props on set roughly about 8 boxes. This bothered me somewhat but rapidly shifted as I became fully involved in the play.
Those 8 boxes morphed into many objects that night: a double bed, a sofa, a psychiatrist’s couch, a kitchen table and a deep trench to hide from the enemy (at war). I was enthralled. How did they know that? It was still a box but I soon discovered it all relates to creative play.
Creative play, nowadays is so underestimated. Creative plays does so much and teaches a vast variety of skills from problem solving, learning to share to developing confidence. Creative play always comes alive when I hear the following story…it’s always something along these lines: “We searched everywhere. All the major stores had sold out then we placed an order; it took 2 weeks to arrive. It was very expensive but was worth the money and the wait. He opened it on the day and squeeled with excitement. Then horror! He abandoned the gift and played with the cardboard box – the very cardboard box that it came in? He was more concerned with the cardboard box than the gift. In the end we just gave it away.”
Even as a child I remember making mud pies with worms, and a few (unsuspected) bugs, soil and water. I’d shovel the mixture into a bucket and mix and mix and mix. It was a ball. The mud pies became a mountainous chocolate cake one week and a nutloaf the week after….and as times went on my imagination soared sometimes I even made a full Sunday dinner with roast potatoes and all the trimmings….all from my imagination….and a bit of mud.
Creative play releases fun and passion in children; they remember what they learn. This type of play allows them to develop language and decision making skills, it helps to nurture imagination and gives a child a sense of adventure. It is also one of the foremost ways that children progress and learn. It builds self worth, develops their emotions and helps them to concentrate.
We provide playthings that will help creative play in a number of ways such as:
- Sandand water play – is possibly an early step into science and maths, eg learning that water is fluid, it’s not a solid, and that using different size containers it can be measured.
- Buildingblocks, puzzles and our shape sorters help with recognising different shapes and sizes, following sequence and developing logic.
- Ballgames – helps to develop body movement, strength, co-ordination skills and flexibility.
- Games– these help with sharing, taking turns and mixing with others.
- Musicalinstruments – help to develop rhythm, listening and hearing.
And lastly, don’t push them too hard but let them develop at their own pace. Learning is fun and creative play is exciting for children. Also let them find safe household objects such as cushions to create play with. Also join in with their play time. Developing a love of the creative process will set your child up as creative thinker in all walks of life.