Because you're never too old to play
Tales of creativity and play; in a way, this article is arguably as much for the adults as it is for the children. Creativity exists in all of us, and there’s no wrong age to explore it through various games and activities. Drawing, role-playing and make-believing are all good brain exercises. For small tots, these activities enable them to communicate something they otherwise couldn’t. For adults, well, they’re just plain fun.
Stéphanie Guilbeault, artist and mother of two, is a toymaker. She designs stuffed animals, created entirely of materials found in Quebec. The raison d’être for these toys is to stimulate play and imagination. Here, Stéphanie gives us 10 tips and tricks to jumpstart children’s imagination... and maybe even our own.
10 tricks to stimulate your child’s imagination
- Jumping, skipping and dancing around
Everyone knows that physical activity is good for your health. Dancing, jumping and just clowning around with your children shows them that exercise isn’t just healthy: it can also be fun!
An image is worth a thousand words, so drawing is a great way for your children to express themselves.
- Playing, plain and simple
The simplest activity there is. If a plush toy and a bit of imagination can entertain them for hours, imagine how much fun they could have if you joined them.
Let the kids get involved in the kitchen, and you won’t be disappointed. Getting ingredients out of the fridge, measuring ingredients, mixing salad… your children will turn each step into a fun game.
- Making a pillow fort
Pile up the cushions, pillows and sheets to create your own secret cave. You’ll want to stay there for hours.
- Assembling a puzzle
Help your children develop patience and coordination with a puzzle. You can do this activity together, or challenge them to do it on their own!
- Reading a book
Reading is the perfect activity to relax with your children. Reading regularly helps children develop their language skills and improve their concentration.
- Creating a story
Once upon a time… Storytelling stimulates children’s imagination and helps to develop their memory. Not to mention it is great for their self-esteem.
- Singing and playing instruments
Music is an excellent way to help children develop their memory and their understanding of concepts, such as numbers and letters.
- Dressing up
Children love putting on costumes and playing characters. It helps them develop their personality and their imagination. Make a costume box with your old clothes and scarves!
Make your own play dough
- Approximately 1 cup salt
- Approximately 2 cups flour
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- Food colouring of your choice
- Aromatic agent of your choice (2 or 3 drops vanilla extract, orange zest, etc.)
- Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
- Add water, oil and your aromatic agent, stirring until the dough is homogeneous and smooth. If necessary, add flour and/or salt.
- Divide dough into portions.
- Add a few drops of food colouring to each portion.
- Put on gloves and knead dough thoroughly.
- Store play dough in a hermetic bag or container.