The importance of creative play
In a world where children increasingly have to follow instructions and abide by adult-imposed rules, creative play allows children to be in control. This is a really important time for children as it helps them make decisions, boosts confidence and enables them to experiment and explore ideas that they have in their incredibly fertile minds.
Creative play allows children to express themselves and develops a range of other skills in the process. Fine motor skills are developed as children manipulate their materials, placing, threading and moulding. Cognitive skills are developed in the design and planning stages of creative play and social and emotional skills are enhanced through shared projects as well as the act of giving the creations as gifts, which promotes attachment.
Parents can help children engage in creative play in a number of ways:
1. Have a box of scrap materials and ‘junk’ that can be used creatively - up cycling is a new trend and children can enjoy finding new, creative used for old things around the house.
2. Buy craft kits as a present or reward
3. Take time to look at your children’s creation and give positive feedback - comments such as ‘I like how you’ve made the sun stand out’ are much more motivating and boost self-esteem more than a generic ‘that’s really good’.
4. Reward and reinforce effort and concentration, this will help children persevere when tasks are challenging and can be wonderful for self-esteem.
Creative play doesn’t have to be expensive, a box of loo rolls, clean yoghurt pots, sticky tape, old clothes, glue and coloured pens/paint can provide hours of entertainment. So before throwing rubbish away, see if it can’t be kept in the junk box and used to stimulate you’re children’s creativity.
To see the full range of creative toys head to www.character-online.co.uk