Play enables children to develop their language, social-emotional and cognitive skills. It also encourages imagination and creativity. Learning through play comes in many forms such as imaginary play, cooperative play and physical play. They are further categorised into instructional play, games, guided and free play, depending on the degree in which children are given control over their experiences during play.
Place a few small items into a bag. You can use items that your child is familiar with such as toys, pieces of clothing and stationery. Get your child to place their hands into the bag and identify the object just by using their sense of touch. For a variety of textures, you can also use items from nature such as leaves, grass, sticks and pebbles.
To make this activity more challenging for older children, use items which have one thing in common or those that fall under the same category. For instance, you can place a few items which begin with the same letter. Get your child to name the objects and guess what they have in common.
This simple activity helps develop fine motor skills. You will need some foam sheets or cardboard, a paper puncher and colourful shoelaces. Cut out simple shapes such as a circle, square or star from the foam sheets. Punch holes along the edges of the shapes and get et your child to string the shoelaces through the holes of each shape.
Make this activity more challenging by cutting the outlines of objects or animals. The completed lacing cards are also great for decorating your child’s room.
The Magic Box
Free play or unstructured play helps exercise your child’s creativity and problem-solving skills. A simple way to encourage free play at home is to create a magic box.
Fill a box with materials that can be used in different ways for free play such as balls, scarves, small plushies and wooden blocks. You may include modelling clay, sheets of recycled paper and other safe craft materials for older children so that they can make their own props.
Title: Pet This Book
Author: Jessica Young
Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2018.
Location: Early Literacy Picture Books
Call Number: English 636.88 YOU
OverDrive Link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4010289
Hello, friend! It’s time to play! We’re taking care of pets today.
There are lots of ways little hands can care for animals. Each page of this book invites readers to pet the cat, wash the puppy, brush the horse’s mane, and more–no animals required! With a delightful rhyming text and engaging illustrations, this book is full of pets who can’t wait to play. The only thing they need is YOU! Just use your imagination, turn the pages, and Pet This Book!
Pair with Play This Book, another title by author Jessica Young and illustrator Daniel Wiseman that comes printed on heavy-duty card stock pages to stand up to all kinds of play!
Title: Imagination Vacation
Author: Jami Gigot
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 2019.
OverDrive Link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4888276
Sam has a very busy family. Mom works late, Dad’s projects pile up. Even Sam’s younger sister Marla is always doing something. Everyone in Sam’s family has their own idea of what the perfect vacation would look like. But there’s one thing they all agree on: they just can’t get away right now. So Sam comes up with a different kind of getaway. With a little planning, a few supplies, and a touch of creativity, she finds that her family’s dream vacation wasn’t so far away after all.
Title: The Runaway Shirt
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Illustrator: Julia Castaño
Publisher: CSanger, CA : Familius LLC, 2020.
Location: Early Literacy Picture Books
Call Number: English MAC
OverDrive Link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/5303144
Laundry is a chore, but when a child climbs in the basket, everything becomes a game. Follow along as this mother takes a break from folding clothes to join her child in the delightful laughter of imagination. In The Runaway Shirt, housework and pretend play come together to transport readers to a kid’s world of wonder and excitement. Each page of charming illustration is a work in joy and mirth. Who knew folding laundry could be so fun
Title: 100 Things to Recycle and Make
Author: Fiona Hayes
Publisher: QEB Publishing, 2019.
OverDrive Link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4811739
Everyday materials are transformed into all kinds of stunning and practical projects, from toy animals and vehicles to dressing-up props, decorations, games, and even fun storage solutions. Bringing together the best projects from the popular Crafty Makes series, each section is dedicated to a different base object: cardboard boxes; paper plates; cardboard tubes; materials from nature; and egg cartons. With twenty projects per section to choose from, and 100 projects overall, this book will appeal to a wide range of ages and interests.
Simple cardboard tubes become a set of pirate skittles, a friendly octopus, and an entire castle. Plain cardboard boxes are turned into a pirate ship, a money box, and a robot; twigs, leaves and other outdoors materials become picture frames, masks, and a dinosaur. Paper plates make a great bug or flower hat, a dotty frog, and a cute panda, while egg cartons are turned into a fire engine, a pencil holder, and a Christmas tree.
Children will be entertained for hours with this invaluable collection of crafty makes, and even the whole family can be involved in recycling everyday objects and turning them into exciting projects. Create entire animal kingdoms and alien worlds, or simply a new favourite toy or mascot.
With such a huge range of exciting projects to make from the simplest of objects, 100 Things to Recycle and Make is the ultimate craft inspiration for creative children.
All synopsis taken from the respective publishers. The book covers are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.