In this season of gift-giving, the best gifts are not those that cost the most, go the fastest or sparkle the brightest; they are gifts that spark the imagination, inspire self-exploration and build social skills.
Dress-up and make believe play allows kids to explore personalities, language and a wide variety of skills. An old sheet can become a cape, allowing for your child to swoop and zoom, saving those in distress. Old instruments let them sing and perform as their favorite artist, calculators and pencils create hours of playing “business.”
Children’s brains are highly stimulated during imaginative play as it requires them to think and remember what they have seen around them. Using previous information to work out details as different personas and in unique scenes increases their connections to schemas they have stored in their brains. Their vocabulary also grows as they practice running commentary.
Shop thrift and vintage stores for interactive gifts that allow them to play chef, construction worker, banker, airplane pilot, doctor or teacher. Recycle Halloween costumes, older children’s sports uniforms or try raiding your closet. Scarves, hats, vests and fun shoes can make for hours of adventures. For older kids, choose items that allow them to be creative with different mediums whether art, legos, or wood.
Tap into your child’s inquisitive nature this season and watch them grow while they play.
Brought to you by:
Santiam Christian Elementary Principal
santiamchristian.org 541-745-5524 x 243