Friday, July 9, 2010
Dress Up Fun!
As a trained Early Childhood Educator, I know the value of play-based learning. I love all kinds of toys but my favorite is those toys that require children to use their imagination. For example, Little People sets, Kitchen Centers, and dress up clothes are all great ways to encourage your child to use imagination. You can also use toys like blocks, cars and other vehicles, sand and water play, and art activites.
I run a home daycare during the week and utilize all the above types of play, as well as music, science, math and literature (I am a huge advocate for the importance of early literacy). However, currently my girls have a passion for dress up (surprise, surprise) so I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures of them playing dress up!
The Superhero capes and felt crowns are from Fancy Pants Kids (a review is coming up soon!) , while the Chef Jacket and Pant (there is a Chef Hat in the Cherry print to match) are from My Silly Blue Hippo
I find that my children (and children I care for) are far more intrigued with open-ended play than other types of play where there is only once outcome (like puzzles or electronic toys). Those types of toys definitely have their place, and I personally love some of the electronic toys on the market (for example, most of the Leapfrog products), but I love that through open-ended play children learn to cooperate, share, problem solve, pretend, learn life roles (like being a mommy, daddy, doctor, etc) and also learn to keep themselves occupied for longer than only a few minutes (of course, depending on the ages). Already my 2 year old will play in our Little Tikes Kitchen for about a half hour at a time with her big sister!
Question: What are some ways you encourage play based learning and imagination in your child(ren)?