Friday, 3 January 2014

Imaginative Play

 Supporting Imaginative Play

 Maplelea Dolls/ 18 inch Dolls

It has been a long time since I have blogged about Brooklyn and Isabella.   The dolls continue to play an important role in our granddaughter’s world of imagination and play. 
Emily is very interested in horses and farming so it was not surprising that she wanted the stuffed Maplelea cow for Christmas to go with her horse. 

Ruth loves puzzles and has been working through the puzzle of how to get their pet parakeet to speak so it was not surprising that she asked for the Maplelea parakeet.

In their choices of Christmas gifts the girls demonstrated how they are using imaginative play to work through real life questions, goals and desires.
Supporting our children’s imaginative play is a fundamental task of parenting.  Developing imaginative play supports our children in developing strong identities and interpersonal skills.
As parents we made sure that, like our granddaughters, our sons both had stuffed animals and a stuff doll to play with.  As a young parent I was surprised to watch my sons play with the dolls as I had seen girls play.  They nurtured their doll, disciplined them and talked to them.  Providing both girls and boys with dolls and stuff animals allows them to:

  • mimic adult roles through their play;
  • build their social skills and develop problem solving skills;
  • build their ability to think in abstract terms, to be imaginative and to develop flexible versus concrete thinking;
  • practise communication skills, as they talk and listen to their dolls and with other children who are playing with them and
  • learn emotional regulation and how to work through problems.

I remember our youngest son after a very difficult day, one where he was sent to his room, playing with a favoured stuff bear.  He replayed the day taking on the role of the parent and after about 15 minutes, he returned to the living and apologized for his behaviour.  Through his play he came to some understanding of either his behaviour or our role as parents that allowed his to move forward.  I have often wondered which it was and it was important for me to accept his apology without questioning him further.

I often replay a difficult day at work and pretend/imagine that I change the outcome.  In this ways I work through my feelings of frustration, embarrassment or self-blame.  By the time I get home am emotionally balanced again and ready to join the family.  I am utilizing a skill I learned as child – just like my youngest son.

Grandma Snyder

© 2013-2014 twosnydergirls
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