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Anxious to get your kids out playing? I partnered with Genius of Play to bring you tips for encouraging active imaginative play with your kids!
Remember when you were a kid and the whole world was seemingly at your fingertips? I do. I remember days on end spent outside, swinging in the tree, playing school bus on my bike, exploring the woods, walking the creek beds… Active imaginative play was a HUGE part of my childhood, thanks to my mom pushing me off the couch and out the door.
Play today feels different. Technology has certainly changed the way kids play. It can be a good thing, but sometimes it can also be detrimental. It can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle and a lack of motivation and exploration. Exploration is a vital piece of childhood, don’t you think?
Benefits of Active Imaginative Play
According to Genius of Play, physical play where kids get up and active really helps kids to develop skills like balance, coordination, and motor skills. It also uses up their energy stores, which in turn, can lead to positive eating and sleeping patterns, a win-win for kids and parents. Imaginative and creative play allows kids’ imaginations to run wild. It allows them to create and imagine their own stories and worlds. And it helps them learn how to solve problems. It all makes so much sense.
Ways for Kids to Actively and Imaginatively PLAY
There are so many ways to encourage active, creative play time, both inside and outside, during all seasons of the year.
Encourage Role Play. My kids have done this since Jaden was a toddler. He and Jacob came up with this adventurous duo, and I’m going to keep the names of their duo a secret because I really feel like they could make a whole series of books out of their role play adventures if they really wanted to some day. They imagine all of these stories and adventures, role-playing every single one. I LOVE listening to them do this. A lot of times, when they’re outside playing, they’re role playing. Stories for days, I’m tellin’ ya.
Build ginormous living room forts. I know, the clutter drives me insane too, but let them build those awesome blanket forts. Help them with all your master fort building skills from your own childhood memories.
Play games together. Get out the board games, card games, marbles, dominoes, and whatever other games you have on hand… And play together.
Send them outside. Let them explore the woods, play in the creek beds, or play army men in the yard. Put up a swing. You can even go one step further and make them a dirt pile, so they can play with all their trucks and cars or whatever other toys they like to play with outdoors. Just get outside.
Read to your kids. Reading gets their wheels turning, and likely, when they’re playing, certain parts of the stories you read will translate into play.
More Ideas for Active and Creative Play
Genius of Play has so many more ideas for both active and creative play. You no longer have to be stumped. They even have ideas categorized by Developmental Benefit, Age, and Prep Time. These ideas will come in especially handy on those days when those 2 infamous words come out of their mouths, “I’m bored!”