Creative Winter Play
With the days of winter stretching on and on, parents may be wondering how to keep toddlers occupied during the last few weeks of cold weather.
Creative play activities offer plenty of opportunity for fun that's educational and important to the development of cognitive skills. Here are some ways to keep creative play at the forefront until spring arrives.
Indoor creative play
There are endless activities that allow children to engage in indoor creative play. Next time you hear "I'm bored," try one of these great activities:
• Ask your child questions to help him think creatively about how he might solve his boredom – you may be surprised at what you learn!
• Support your child's musical development. Using "instruments" like pots and pans can shift her imagination into high gear.
• Read together, making sure you take time to look at and describe the pictures to each other.
Outdoor creative play
No matter the climate in which you live, there are ways to incorporate creative play into outdoor activities.
In cold climates, building snowmen, snow forts, or even participating in the occasional snowball fight are great ways to incorporate creative play into cold-weather fun. These activities help develop children's problem-solving and leadership skills, while keeping them entertained for hours.
In warmer climates, anything that gets kids out of the house and moving is a good thing. Traditional games like Tag and Capture the Flag are great ways to build teamwork skills and enhance your child's ability to self-regulate his emotions. It is never too early to teach children the value of good sportsmanship through creative play.
With these ideas in hand, navigating the remaining days of winter can be enjoyable for everyone, while giving kids the opportunity to develop critical cognitive skills needed both now and in the future.