Pretend play toys are my best friends in the wee hours of the morning.
In an odd twist of circumstance, it came to be that two night owls produced offspring, who are early risers to their core. At the crack of dawn, sometimes even before, I can hear my children grab their pretend play toys and in a joyous frenzy of free play, pretend play, (in the dark?!).
While the night owl within me gasps in disbelief the fact that my kids are up so early in the day, as I hear and watch them play (through my sleepy haze), I can’t help but concede how wonderful pretend play is.
My brood are superhero crazy. We have more than our fair share of Spiderman and Batman costumes, simply because my kids are love them to bits and beyond. I’m more than happy to let them pretend play with their favourite characters, but as a mum and teacher, I believe it’s also important to challenge them to extend their repertoire of pretend play.
Here are some simple pretend play toys for four pretend play scenes, inspired by nursery rhymes.
Pretend play toy for Jack Be Nimble
As children act out nursery rhymes, their rhyming skills are reinforced. Rhyming helps children read and write because rhyming helps children see and hear the relationship between letter clusters that represent the same sounds in different words.
When children act out stories, they are building up their understanding of narratives, that stories have a beginning, middle an end. While they are playing, they’re growing and reinforcing their listening, speaking and vocabulary skills.
Here are 2 play scenes inspired by well-known stories:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
• Bowls x 3
• Chairs x 3
• Beds (pillows/cushions/blankets) x 3
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pillow Pal
• Various food props
Pretend play doesn’t require a stage. All you need is a little floor space (just let me put those clothes into our never-ending dirty laundry basket and we’ll be sorted); some simple pretend play toys (yep, in a few small boxes in our hallway); and imagination (tick, tick, tick).
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