Creative play involves building items, solving puzzles, craft, painting, playing with play doh and more. These activities, though they seem like mere fun in nature, should be a part of every child’s growth and development process. Children absorb via creative play as adults grasp through reading or viewing content. Due to its interactive nature, play instills formative skills and helps kids to understand things and processes better.
Here are 4 ways to impart vital skills through creative play ideas for pre-primary and primary students:
- Dramatic arts and Storytelling
Drama means using or making up stories, getting into the story characters and enacting their roles to tell the story. It has many levels and children love to play different roles.
Get them to make their own costumes, design their makeup and then give them a scene, in which they can freely develop their characters via impromptu action and words. The multiple skills that they will develop include imaginative development, language and expression.
Younger kids could be guided to act out while you read stories to them. Plays, musicals and theatre is something that can continue to impart social and self development skills till adulthood.
- Craft and Model Making
As we grow old, we lose that part of us that finds pleasure in making craft items! But children love the idea of building a house, drawing and cutting out a boat, colouring a doll’s clothes or making a fort out of boxes.
There are hundreds of inexpensive ways to teach children spatial skills and motor development through craft activities. You can also invest in airplane models, puppetry kits, or train sets if possible.
All these activities develop cognitive faculties while bringing out a child’s personality. Young ones will focus better, communicate more and ask questions when engaged in craft time.
- Collaborate and Create
There are so many projects that can be undertaken as a class. A class musical, play, science exhibition or special show. Divide the class into groups and give each group tasks that they should do and others they need to figure out together.
A cohesive activity that encourages students to work towards a common goal imparts teamwork, leadership, discipline, communication, problem solving abilities, self confidence and more.
Come up with class project ideas that involve learnings from your current syllabus such as names of different locations, parts of a speech or animals in the zoo.
- Structured v/s Unstructured Creativity
We often make the mistake of controlling children a bit much during creative play time. Instead of telling a child to draw an orange, ask him or her to draw a picture of their favourite fruit.
Academicians across the world are finding unexpected benefits of unstructured creative play. If you notice children playing, during recess or lunch break, it is largely unstructured. Which is why they love to run out of the classroom when the bell rings!
Unstructured play is especially great for young toddlers. When a little one is rolling a block around in his or her hand, instead of joining it to another, he or she is doing what comes naturally ie: grasping the texture, dimensions, heaviness, and how it can be moved around before it is used.
Let students create their own stories, once you have shared a few fairy tales.
In these ways, creative play can contribute to a child’s development at every stage of his or her life.