We do a lot of make believe play at home. Madeline loved it when she was a bit smaller, and Sammy, at the age of three, has just started his love for make believe too. Today I thought I would share an imaginative play activity that we love right now – and it could not be simpler!
This activity requires only imagination, crayons, and paper plates (and, if you have a child like Sammy, a hat). This is how we play:
Yesterday was rainy here, so we were looking for some fun inside activities. One thing that always saves me on rainy days is ‘moving things’. So I moved the play kitchen from the basement to our upstairs family room. And that was all that was needed for a morning of cooking and restaurant play!
To change things up a little, we played a game that ended up being called “The Drawing Chef”. It came to be because our play food has gotten a little low – cantaloupe in the upstairs toy box, sweet potato under a bed … I am sure you know how it is.
Sammy quickly tired of the 10 food items he had to cook and serve, so we created a way for him to serve anything at all – French fries topped with ice cream — yep! Strawberries with mud — unfortunately, yep!
To inspire this make believe play I set up a table with paper plates and crayons. On 3 of the paper plates I drew a few foods (grapes, apples, and pizza). I truly don’t think Sammy needed the inspiration – he knew exactly how he was going to cook.
As he was ‘cooking’ he would put his crayon down to go to the stove, or pretend to cut something onto the plate, or warm his food in the microwave. He would then return to complete his masterpiece.
This make believe activity was so great for Sammy’s imagination – he was not limited by anything at all.
The need for Make Believe Play in children between the ages of 2.5 – 7 years cannot be understated. Many studies, such as this one, have shown incredible benefits of such play. A few of these benefits are:
- Language Development
- Learning about perspectives and empathy
- Improving self-regulation, problem solving skills, and reducing aggression
- Learning social skills
- Stimulating Creativity (this study suggests children who played make believe were more creative years later)
This make believe play was so much fun for Sammy he continued to play it after rest and again after dinner with Madeline and Daddy. Just like our Post Office, I know this will be a childhood favourite in our house!