Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making It Work: Promoting Open-Ended Play

Patriots going into battle.  Note the broken golf-club, hockey stick and broomstick that are all standing in as rifles...
Who needs play guns, anyways?  They'll improvise!

So what now? It is hard to not end up with scripted toys. But I've found that this really doesn't hinder a child when you are encouraging their creativity and budding imaginations!  With encouragement from you, your child can “make” his toys open ended by using them in ways that are “off-script”. Surprisingly, I think kids are pretty adept at this, but sometimes we as parents can fail to recognize it.  It has been so much fun to watch my boys improvise more and more as they've gotten older!

This drum of ours has been used for all kinds of things, including a knights shield...

My sons who have had a recent fascination with fire fighters, have been turning EVERYTHING in sight into something related to fighting fires.  The astronaut costume doubled as a fireman's gear and they even pulled out our little astronaut figurines and pretended they were all firemen and played for almost an hour today with them...  With birthday's coming up in a couple of weeks, Keegan asked if we could punch a hole in the ceiling and put in a pole because that would be a faster way to get downstairs. hahahaha. 

(My Trey-man having his own little Toy Story experience...)

This reminds me of the opening scene in Toy Story where Andy has incorporated ALL of his toys in his imaginary play in some fashion or another...

May we as parents recognize and encourage such play in our own kids!  And then watch their creativity and imagination soar!


[Open-Ended Play Series]
PART 1  ~ Free to Play
    PART 2 ~ Sounds Easy Enough
     PART 3 ~ Micro-Managing No More
    PART 4 ~ Keep It Simple
    PART 5 ~ Block Play: Building a Child’s Mind 
   PART  6 ~ Playsilks: Inspiring Creativity
 PART 7 ~ Open-Ended Costumes
PART 8 ~ Kitchen Play
PART 9 ~ From Trash to Treasure
PART 10 ~ Making It Work

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