From birth to 2 years of age, kids learn more from play than anything. Everything that a child does stimulates the development of the senses and shapes creative minds at an early age. That’s why parents need to pay more attention to this golden time to engage children in creative play.
Creativity means thinking out of the box, and creative play is a learning activity in which kids learn from their imaginative thoughts. In simpler words, creative play encourages kids to express themselves without any barriers, helping them unveil their imaginary world.
“Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun.” - Albert Einstein.
Parents, these days have provided their kids with tech gadgets to kill boredom. And the sad point is that technology such as TV, cell phones, and gaming is killing children's creativity.
A report published by British Council concluded that creative play increases knowledge and skills among children. It boosts their daily life skills and enhances early-age physical and mental development. Imaginative plays are better for children to expose their thoughts more than just sitting and playing with toys.
It is a fact that new things challenge kids in new ways. Children, most of the time do not feel comfortable expressing their emotions through words. However, it's easy for them to draw & paint. Creative games not only build a strong parent-child bond but also strongly impact the child’s social skills. Interaction in creative plays enhances their communication skills and increases confidence which help them in their daily life. It also improves their hand-eye coordination, which kids use ahead in sports and writing.
It is a challenging task to engage kids without using a phone. We know you have many questions about how, when, or if. Don’t worry.
The section below covers all tips, ideas, and activities to involve babies and toddlers in creative play.
You can get many tips from Google, or other parents may tell you, but we try to dig deep and find the most authentic or valid tips to play creative games with kids.
- Buy Creative Toys: The first best friend of any child is their toys. So choose toys wisely; you can get your toddler a projector painting toy. And if you have an infant, you can get them a play gym mat for creative play.
- Provide an Open Space: Let your child use the floor or room freely. While playing creatively, kids use their thinking power to design a play. Any restriction in the process may hinder their critical thinking. So, make sure to give your child an open space where they can play independently.
- Give More Time to Kids: We all live very busy lives. But always remember that our family should be our first priority. In the fast pace of life, we provide gadgets to kids, so they don't disturb us. The most important thing is time which we ignore. We can make some precious family time, reduce screen time, engage with kids, and observe their like and dislikes.
- Say Yes To Mess: The symbol of working is a mess around your table. Same happens with children when they are building, creating, or playing with toys. Let them explore and don't take tension about the mess. Your one NO can stop your kids from learning. Like Simon Nicholson reports in the theory of loose parts: children can be more creative when they play with more things, like blocks, rocks, wood, or paint to create unique things.
Creating a fun space at home where your child can play is a must-have. Let’s have a look at some ideas and activities to encourage creative play at home.
Creative Play Ideas:
- Sensory Play: It is best activity to enhance babies' senses especially help them touch and feel things with their hands. You can let babies play with various things, textures, and materials so they can discover their senses. For instance, playing with rattle triggers hearing sense, squeezing a stuff toy stimulates grabbing ability. Similarly, colourful objects are good for sight, etc.
- Symbolic Play: Singing songs with babies helps them a lot in listening, and when they try to sing a song with you, it helps them talk speedily. It also guides them about language at an early age. You can also use props so toddlers can engage more, which is good for their hearing ability.
- Pretend Play: Let the child play with anything they like by creating scenarios in their mind. Pretend play enhances kids’ thinking abilities and problem-solving skills. You can get doll house, doctor set, kitchen tools for your child.
Creative Play Activities:
- Mirror Game: Babies are always curious about the surroundings. They want to explore everything. In mirror game, you can use a mirror and ask your child to point on their nose, chin, lips, etc. by looking at the mirror. Such an activity helps them in self-awareness and develops their visual skills.
- Drawing & Painting: Grab some colorful crayons and a piece of paper, and let your child draw and paint their imaginations. You can also use a sand tray where they make a square, rectangle, or circle with their fingers. A safe and secure way to boost their sense of touch and memory.
- Play With Building Blocks: Give your child some blocks and let them build something out of their imaginations. Playing with building blocks give children a free hand to use their creativity.
After reading this article, you clearly know why creative play is important or how to engage babies and toddlers in creative play. Follow these tips or ideas to convert your baby's dull, wasting time into an exciting creative life. All points discussed above can reduce the screen time of your baby, but do not force them into any play or activity. Let them explore; if they don't like it, they will do new activities which will boost their mental and physical development.