Cooperation Begins with Trust

Tag Archives: Play

Independent Play: Using Play Invitations To Encourage Imagination and Learning

Independent Play: Using Play Invitations To Encourage Imagination and Learning

Independent play helps children feel confident, builds a sense of capability, concentration skills and creates many opportunities for discovery and learning.

While children do not need intricate and overly elaborate toys or play opportunities to develop well, offering diverse play materials and new opportunities is a great way to help children enjoy their independent playtime. This is also a fantastic way to rotate toys that have been a bit forgotten and introduce new materials.

So, a play invitation is simply setting out a specific play activity or a few toys on a surface that is easily accessible to the child, such as a small table or a blanket on the ground. Whatever toy or activity it is, it should be something the children can:

  • Play without assistance and low supervision
  • Play without directions or corrections (i.e. if you overhear dogs meowing, numbers being skipped etc…it’s ok to not correct that!)
  • Play without abrupt interruptions

Play dough and various accessories are one of my children’s favorite independent play activities. A recent invitation to play with playdough, scissors and pipe cleaners was a great success:

playdoughplayindependent

 

Some play invitations I often set up are:

  • colorful stock paper, scissors and a glue stick
  • a box of corks and bells
  • pipe cleaners
  • a bunch of empty egg cartons
  • building blocks
  • a bin of stuffed animals
  • pompoms and cups
  • feathers and foam shapes
  • paper plates and cotton balls
  • a cardboard box, crayons and a flashlight

Here is another example of an invitation to play: A plate with various items and an empty bottle. My daughter spent a long while pinching, sorting and dumping items from jar onto plate and back again, grouping items, comparing shapes and sizes and making up stories along the way.

independentplay

 

One of the most special things about  independent play is how much we can find out about our children by simply stepping back, observing and listening.  When children play alone they often take it as an opportunity to exercise the skills they are working on. For example, you might hear a child counting out loud to make sense of her number ordering, or stacking things as they practice balancing, or singing and creating stories as they explore their imagination.

Independent play is also a fantastic tool for self regulation, working out frustrations and exercising patience. When children play independently, it also gives us parents a chance to work on something else, a window of time for self-care or time to connect with another child.

If you would like some inspiration for play invitations you can also check out these wonderful resources:

Invitation to play in the sink by Mama. Papa. Bubba. Blog

Invitation to play with a cardboard car ramp byKids’ Play Space – a mother’s journey

Invitation to Play: Creating a Fall Tree  by School Time Snippets

Invitation for Imaginary Play with Play Dough byNurturestore

Invitation to build with pipe cleaners and pool noodles by And Next Comes L

 

Peace & Be Well,
Ariadne

The Importance of Hands-On Learning Fun

The Importance of Hands-On Learning Fun

Children love sensory play, messy science experiments, and hands-on activities. While it seems like children are “just playing” during this time, they are actually learning quite a bit. Hands on play activities are important for children to develop and practice many different skills. In this post, Mary Catherine, author of Fun-A-Day is sharing the importance of hands-on… Continue Reading

Connecting with Children Through Play

Connecting with Children Through Play

The importance of play doesn’t end there. Yes it’s enjoyable for them and yes play is important in child development but play also provides parents with a door to connect with their child on a deep level. I always love to say that I am hands on, this I feel sums up the play connection I am referring to. Engaging and being present in play is a hands-on way to establish a deep connection and strengthen a healthy relationship with your child. Continue Reading

10 Playful Solutions For Morning & Evening Routines : Parents S.H.A.R.E

10 Playful Solutions For Morning & Evening Routines : Parents S.H.A.R.E

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” -Diane Ackerman In this Parents S.H.A.R.E. post, our positive parenting community is sharing how they have used play as a parenting tool when faced with a variety of challenges during the morning and evening routines, from races to singing silly songs here are many fun ideas!! Continue Reading

Play & Discover: 6 Learning Activities For Tots & Preschoolers

Play & Discover: 6 Learning Activities For Tots & Preschoolers

From figuring out patterns, matching pairs, color sorting  and more, play activities are a great  hands on way for toddlers & preschoolers to explore, experiment and learn.  The following six activities are fantastic opportunities for children to work on cognitive, motor, social and language skills, all which are vital to development. Welcome to the September… Continue Reading

The Benefits of Messy Play And How To Make it Slightly Less Messy

The Benefits of Messy Play And How To Make it Slightly Less Messy

Messy play gives children an opportunity to tap into their creativity, explore all sorts of possibilities, enhance and experience their senses, practice cooperation and of course…get messy. Glitter, play dough, paint, slime, goop, glue, mud, muck, water and more… Children just love it and well, some parents really just don’t like it all that much. It’s… Continue Reading

Books & Play: Enhancing Reading Comprehension In a Fun Way.

Books & Play: Enhancing Reading Comprehension In a Fun Way.

Welcome to the March Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Discovering through Books This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants have investigated what role books have played in their lives. Please read to the end to find a… Continue Reading

Feathery Fun Turkey in 10 Steps

This week I was totally inspired by the Nurturestore’s “Let’s play dough book” and came up with these funny feathery turkeys made out of a chocolate tinted salt dough. 1. Whip up a batch of traditional salt dough (2cups flour,1 cup salt, 1cup water)  Set half of dough aside for another project.  2. Add in… Continue Reading

This One Life Together

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to… Continue Reading

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