Every child loves play. Or rightly, they should. Here are some favourite play ideas my husband and I enjoy with our preschooler:
Build a Village
We set up my son’s toy cars, wooden train set and tracks, and a Thomas the Train set – all given as hand-me-downs or gifts – in the middle of the living room floor. The whole village took an hour to build and was equipped with bus-stops, carparks, petrol stations and the like, built from his little engineering set.
Going on a Bear Hunt
A few nights ago, I enacted this award-winning story by Michael Rosen that Focus on the Family adapted for their Playtime workshop. My son loved the interactivity and dramatic expressions, and could repeat the story back to me just after one reading.
I gave my son an old and scratched cooking pot, a couple of cheap ladles (the cheapest from IKEA that he decided to claim as his toys), and some empty plastic containers such as the ones used to package strawberries or takeaway food. Old receipts from the supermarket served as the customer’s bill. The caps we had collected from plastic disposable drink bottles came in handy as the chef’s ingredients for cooking up delectable “dishes” for “sale” to restaurant customers.
Our son loves to place all his odds-and-ends figurines, be they from past Happy Meals or things inherited, scattered around the room. Tables and chairs are rearranged to provide barriers and deliberate obstacles. We typically use a toy gun or rubber ball to aim at the figurine targets and shoot/knock them down.
The mogu-mogu drink bottles collected over the year were used as the bowling pins and the small bouncy balls purchased from the $2 shop was used as the bowling ball. The great thing is that you can fill the mogu bottles with rice, beans, paint, anything to add weight or color… and if the bottle gets too dirty, you can just discard it!
It is always a joy to see the creativity and delight in my son. A simple game turns into endless memories of pretend play. This is also a really economical way of education, as he picks up lessons on negotiation and social skills, language and math concepts – all through play.
Let our children have their childhood! And enjoy getting down on your knees and de-stressing by playing with them!
p/s Do share your play ideas with me!