CREATIVE PLAY: Music, Movement & Drama | Recreating Experiences

Farah Waheda Wahid

Early games of make-believe recreate common daily experiences, such as cooking dinner or going to the shops. Older children are able to play through recent outings and experiences and retell fictional stories, but only if you provide the right props. :-). 

In The Kitchen
Cooking is one of the few household tasks that families carry out every day. So we should not be surprised that toy kitchens are among the most-used toys, and pretending to cook is perhaps the most popular pretend activity for two-to-three-years old. Two-year-olds need to be realistic at this age. You may find that a couple of small real saucepans and a small frying pan elicit more play than toy pans with faces on them. My own experience? 

What You Can Do?
  • A toy kitchen will provide opportunities for stimulating play for all young children. Your child will need a stove and a sink and perhaps a microwave if you use one.
  • A small table and some play crockery and cutlery, extend the game. Add extra pans and some salt dough or papier mache food to give to their teddies.
  • Let them help you to do some real cooking or food preparation. She could perhaps make sandwiches for a picnic. 
Holiday Time
Once you get home from holiday, it is difficult for the child to remember what happened because the props he/she relies on the jog her memory are no longer present. He/she finds it difficult because his/her memories are mainly pictures. Help to remember by recreating some of his/her experiences. 

What You Can Do?
  • If you stayed at a hotel, recreate the front dest, including a place for keys. Have another desk with a stamp (from a stationery shop) to stamp passports. Other office equipment will also be useful. 
  • Create a cafe with a table in the garden, an umbrella and some plates of pretend real food.
  • Use few brochures, a phone and some tickets to make a travel agent.
  • Tell the story of the holiday. Remind him/her of the details. Look at the photographs and discuss what happened on the day they were taken.

You can make play shops of all kinds. For example, the boxes you use for cardboard constructions can be used for a food shop. Collect the family shoes to make a shoe shop, cut out paper fish for a fish shop, or simply use the fruit and vegetables you have in your kitchen for a greengrocer's. It just need a little bit of imagination. 

What You Can Do?
  • All shops need a till and some money. The small change from foreign trips or the change you have in your purse is better than pretend money. 
  • A set of scales is an essential part of the fun if there is anything he/she could weigh. 
  • If you normally pay by credit card, can you make a card machine? 
  • Keep old receipts so he/she can hand them to her customers.
  • For a shoe shop, she needs a mirror and something to measure shoe sizes. Line up the dining room chairs for the customers to sit on. 
  • Provide few bags.
  • Think of the finishing touches that will really bring the shop to life - for example, make an open and closed sign.
Indoor Dens

Source Extracted from Google
Most young children love dens. Make a simple indoor den by putting up a tent or throwing a sheet over a large table. Provide a cushion for him/her to sit on and a few toys. He/she will probably play happily in this special place for quite a while. 

What You Can Do? 
  • You can buy play houses and play tents. Sometime, you can pitch a small tent in the garden or porch. 
  • A fishing rod and a rucksack are ideal props for expedition - even if it is only as far as the front door. Ihiksss.... Ha ha ha.... 
Roads And Other Layouts

Preschool toy shops abound with dolls' houses, garages, farm and train sets but they are also quite simple to make.

Source Extracted from Google
What You Can Do?

  • To make a road system, cut lengths of card, draw line markings and fix the strips together with adhesive tape to form varying lengths of road. Add to the the interest in the form of crossroads, bends and intersections.
  • A piece of hardboard makes a firm base for a farm or town. And papier mache hills, sandpaper roads and a little mirror for a pond. 
  • Lollipop people are wonderfully simple to make: just draw faces on the ends of the lollipop sticks. They work as they are, or you could add some straw or string hair or tie on an apron. 
And here is the most important part of all... WHAT THE CHILD LEARNS...
  • To tell story of his/her daily life. To remember and recount his/her daily experiences to themselves and you.
  • To think things through, and to use language to express memories, emotions and feelings.
  • To remember what happened last time he/she did something. To be watchful of details next time he/she is out. 
  • Toy money encourages counting; kitchen scales help her to understand concepts such as heavy and light.
  • A camp isolates the child from distractions, useful for a child who finds it difficult to maintain concentration.
  • To talk about thing he/she can no longer see.
I've done some of it and I am still continuing this kind of creative play for Ash. And this is all from what I've learn and read from Dr. Dorothy Einon who is the author of a number of bestselling books on early years play. She is a psychologist at University College, London, with a special interest in child development. Dr. Einon has actually researched the functions of play and the psychology of learning. She has taught in educational centres around the world and appears regularly on television and radio somewhere. :-).

Parents? Why not if you try it on your child as well??? ;-)

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  1. bagus kak ^_^ budak2 memang patut di dedahkan dgn permainan yang mcm nii supaya otak berkembang ^_^

  2. tetiba terminat pulak dengan playset Ash jugak main dengan Iqy..hehe

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