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Helping Our Children to Rediscover Imaginative Play

Title:Helping Our Children to Rediscover Imaginative Play
Summary:It seems to me that kids today are losing the desire to play. I remember spending hours with my friends as a child, playing “pretend games.” We would imagine we were a “girl group” of singers. We’d put an act together, sing along with the greatest hits on our record player, and design our own costumes. Then we’d put on a show for our parents! Or we’d play school, with one of us taking on the role of the teacher who would find all kinds of fun things for her “students” to do. We’d create detailed lesson plans and worksheets for each other. If we weren’t playing school, we’d play “house.” We’d do our nails and make-up and dress up for dates with imaginary boyfriends, get married, and have pretend babies!
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Home  >  Helping Our Children to Rediscover Imaginative Play

11/19/2012 - Helping Our Children to Rediscover Imaginative Play

Written by: Susan Heim, Susan Heim on Parenting

It seems to me that kids today are losing the desire to play. I remember spending hours with my friends as a child, playing “pretend games.” We would imagine we were a “girl group” of singers. We’d put an act together, sing along with the greatest hits on our record player, and design our own costumes. Then we’d put on a show for our parents! Or we’d play school, with one of us taking on the role of the teacher who would find all kinds of fun things for her “students” to do. We’d create detailed lesson plans and worksheets for each other. If we weren’t playing school, we’d play “house.” We’d do our nails and make-up and dress up for dates with imaginary boyfriends, get married, and have pretend babies!

Today’s kids don’t seem to play like that as much anymore. Instead, they’re rushing off to after-school activities, playing video games or watching TV. There’s not as much creativity being used. I’d really love to see a movement to encourage kids to play more -- not with electronics or baseball bats, but with their imagination! One way in which we can do that is by asking kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up? Show me!” I See Me! has a brand-new book that can help kids and parents brainstorm on fun careers, beyond the usual occupations that kids will normally cite. The book is called A-B-C What I Can Be?. I love the page for the letter “I”:
Imagine the options that start with an I…
An Ice hockey player, an Inspector of pie,
An Inventor, Instructor, an Ice sculpture chipper,
An Ironman, Innkeeper, Ice cream cone dipper.


Ask your children questions: What would you create if you were an ice sculpture chipper? What flavors of ice cream would you serve if you were an ice cream cone dipper? Then make it “real” by serving up ice cream sundaes or making designs with ice cubes! Help them think of other “careers” they could imagine that begin with the letter I, such as an Inchworm measurer or an Ink blob artist!

Play encourages interaction, active use of the imagination, problem-solving skills, and plenty of laughter! Won’t you join me in encouraging our children to rediscover the magic of play?
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Helping Our Children to Rediscover Imaginative Play
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