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Creativity and Education – Children’s Development Through Play

Creativity and education begins from the moment of birth. As humans, we love to explore and examine everything we can about the world that surrounds us. However, since young children aren’t yet equipped with the advanced speech capabilities or thought processes needed to fully communicate their thoughts and feelings to adults, their intellectual and creativity development are best addressed via the world of play.

Children do respond well to visual stimuli and have been found to learn much better if developmental tactics for creativity and education are incorporated right into their playtime activities. For children, better learning is achieved through constant play, especially among toddlers.

The child begins using pre-verbal gestures to communicate starting at the ages of 10 to 12 months. They begin at this time to associate many words with objects even though they aren’t quite able to verbally say them.

This is when they enjoy waving goodbye and to the pleasure of their parents speak their very first recognizable word. At this stage, they also love to initiate familiar games and routines with adults much like these activities explained in this article.

Below are some examples of play time activities you can use with toddlers as you help them develop their creative faculties and other senses most effectively. A lot of other strategies do exist, but the following have been found to be most useful in many different studies on child development.

So, have fun and don’t be afraid to come up with other variations to these same themes on your own for more variety and enjoyment.

1. Dump and Haul

Potential For Creativity And Education

– Development of motor skills

– Initiates interaction with others and promotes socialization

Here Is The List Of What You Need:

– Big basket or bucket

– Toys that fit into the basket or bucket

– A piece of cord about one yard in length

How to Play The Game

– Tie the cord through the basket or bucket handle.

– Along with your child dump small toys into the basket or bucket.

– Next, drag the basket across the room as the child holds the cord.

– Now, your child can dump the contents into another basket or on the floor again.

– I’m sure you get the picture here… Dump and haul… dump and haul…

Now, on to the next activity. (Adults, watch out as your child will wear you out!)

2. Help Me Pack

Potential For Creativity And Education

– Helps enrich vocabulary

– Allows practice of communication skills

– Gives child practice reaching and picking things up, thereby strengthening arm muscles

– Teaches child organization skills

– This is a fun way for putting away all of your child’s toys after play time. (Hint… hint…)

Here Is The List Of What You Need:

– 2 used shopping bags or baskets

– Toys or other objects scattered around the room. (Definitely something not hard to come by with a toddler in the house.)

How to Play The Game

– Start putting toys and other objects into your own bag while announcing, “It’s time to pack away all our things.”

– Then encourage your child to join in and help out.

– As you start filling up your own bag, name and identify every object that you pick up.

– Give your child their own bag or allow them to add to yours. This gives them the opportunity to make a choice.

– This is also a great activity when putting clothes into a laundry basket, or fixing up their toy shelf. Remember to name each item of clothing or object as it goes into the basket or onto the shelf.

3. Paper Cup Exploring

Your child is like a miniature Einstein, trying to explore and discover as many things about the world as he/she can every minute of every day. Children learn to solve problems through trial and error and attempt to discover the cause-and-effect relationships of every object they holds and the actions they’re performing with each one.

Potential For Creativity And Education

– Introduces a cognitive activity that allows the child to explore shapes and spaces.

– Promotes the development of the ability to understand the links between cause-and-effect.

– Development of fine motor skills

Here Is The List Of What You Need:

– 10 to 12 paper or plastic cups

How to Play The Game

– Allow your child to naturally play with the cups, such as fitting them together, stacking them, tossing them, rolling them or whatever they decide to do with them.

– Allow them to discover on their own how things fit together, come apart and then go back together once again.

– If left to examine and explore these fun objects they can make many fantastic discoveries about how objects relate to one another and also how they look and feel on there own and when they do come together.

4. Dramatic and Pretend Play Activities

How to Play The Game

By the age of 2 to 3 years, children are able to concentrate on self-selected activities for longer periods. This is when pretend-play with parents, siblings and others becomes the highlight of their day. They just love to create a scenario and then watch and imitate other people’s actions, facial expressions, and gestures as well as invent their own and watch others imitate them.

Make believe or playing pretend is very important to a child’s development during the early years of life. It’s also among the most favorite choices in a toddler’s play as new parents soon discover. The first interest in pretend-play begins as a 10 to 12 month old picks up a rattle, places it near their ear, and starts babbling nonsensical words as they imitate an adult talking on a telephone.

Potential For Creativity And Education

Dramatic and pretend play is one activity that strengthens holistic development. It touches many aspects in a child’s growth as indicated in the list below:

Cognitive:

Learning to use symbols through toys

Emotional:

Playing out scenes with emotional expression

Social:

Interacting with others, creating friendships, bonding with parents and family

Language:

Talking to each other, thinking of plots, learning new words, expressions

Physical:

Using gestures, facial expression, lots of body movement and playing “dress up”.

Since young children do lack the capacity to communicate effectively through words, play is often their medium of expression, creativity and education. Thus, as parents, we must not only allocate sufficient time for play, in order for our children to develop creative faculties early in life but we must also join in on this play to further strengthen their ability to form a loving bond, grow, learn and interact socially.