Imaginative play is how children learn about the world, and it’s vital for their development. At a time where little ones are not in the classroom and have limited opportunities for adventure, it’s so important that we create as many moments as possible for them to play. Here are five ideas to try during lockdown (and afterwards too).
1. Travel in your imaginations
Although jumping on an airplane is largely off-limits right now, it doesn’t mean that we can’t travel in our imaginations. Read story books together about places you’d like to go and then explore these destinations through play. Pack a suitcase, take your seat on the jumbo (sofa) jet, and cloud watch out of the windows. When you arrive, you could eat the foods that you might find there, dress up in your favourite holiday outfits and take snaps of you climbing (stair) mountains, relaxing on the (patio) beach, or swimming in the (bathtub) sea. We love the JetKids™ range from Stokke. Not just for real travelling, their clever ride-on suitcase, the BedBox™, is perfect for this kind of play and it even turns into a seat and a bed for little ones.
2. Explore the great outdoors
Our local parks, woodlands and areas of natural beauty have been a saviour during the pandemic. If you’ve exhausted the playgrounds and bike trails, why not make your time outdoors into an adventure. You could pretend to be intrepid explorers, discovering new species of plants and animals. Pack some paper and crayons for making rubbings of flora and fauna and a pair of binoculars for studying wildlife.
3. Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary
Making the same journeys again and again, such as going to the supermarket, can get a little dull. But if you look around, you might spot things that you’ve never seen before. For example, what do you see when you look up instead of straight ahead? Perfect for everyday adventures, pack a notepad and some pencils in your Stokke JetKids™ Crew BackPack™ and get your mini to make a list of 10 new things they spot on each trip you make. When you get home, write a story together about what you’ve seen and then use it to inspire some imaginative play.
4. Camp out in your living room
Sleepovers at other people’s houses might be a no-no in lockdown, but you can still have one at home. Make a den underneath the dining table, or if you’re going all-out, set up a tipi and fill it with comfy cushions. Pack your suitcase as though you are having a real night away, and plan an itinerary together – such as watching your favourite movie from under the covers, telling stories by torchlight, and making special midnight snacks. When the summer months arrive, camp out in your garden and watch the stars. And when sleepovers with friends are allowed again? Pack their Stokke JetKids™ BedBox™ and create all of this imaginative play again.
5. Use everyday objects to inspire play
With a little bit of imagination, a cardboard box can become a totally new world for your little one. For example, why not pretend your Stokke JetKids™ BedBox™ is a rocket that you’re riding on to the moon, or a train you’re exploring the ‘railroads’ of the house from? Allow your little one’s imagination to lead the adventure and always make sure you are having fun and creating special memories as a family.