Mini Moons Staying Active

10 Amazing Types of Play Important to a Child’s Development

 Playing is a crucial part of a child’s life. Did you know there are different types of play important to your child’s development? Find them here.

Every child loves to play. It allows them to engage and interact with the world around them. ‘Playing’ means different things to different children and at different stages of their lives. Hence, there are different types of play important to a child’s development.

Even though many adults associate playing with only fun and entertainment but that conception can’t be more flawed. It is through play that a child is able to work and improve his or her emotional intelligence (EQ). They develop self-expression, learn to socialize, and keep functioning at peak efficiency in an air of teamwork and cooperation.

Like a lot of other things, playing and learning how to play is a step-by-step process and involves several stages. In this article, we’ll take a peek at the 10 fundamental types of play critical for kid’s development and growth.

Meaning of Play

Play is an activity that children indulge in for the sake of enjoyment or amusement, all the while developing important skills including self-awareness and problem-solving strategy. 

Here are 10 amazing types of play that are important to a child’s development

Ranging from a simple act of staring endlessly at a shiny marble to taking part in a football league, play helps children exercise their minds and promotes different types of creativity. It also helps to broaden the horizon of their imaginative skills. Listed below are 10 of the most significant types of play.

Involuntary Play

Also, commonly known as unoccupied play, this type focuses on random and seemingly paltry movements like a toddler waving his arms around and kickboxing in the air.

While these may seem like hit-or-miss movements, in reality, it’s the most basic type of play seen mostly in infants.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Providing child-friendly toys to the child
  • Textured balls and toys

Parallel Play

In this type of play, children tend to play side-by-side but without having their activities intersect with one another’s. Even if they pay a little heed to their neighbor’s specific method of play and implement it in their own games, they usually refrain from interfering in each other’s business. Parallel play is most common for among children who are 2-3 years old. 

Recommended Activities: 

  • Building and sorting blocks
  • Play dough
  • Sandbox and sand toys
  • Coloring books

Harmonized Play

During this stage, kids try to outreach their limits and start interacting with their peers during play. Even though they engage and communicate with each other, there seems to be a lack of a definite type of goal and the play is a little unorganized.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Now is the time to introduce your child to art supplies. 
  • They can be trusted with small pieces of toys like LEGO blocks

Non-Social / Solitary Play

Solitary play is most commonly observed in shy kids and those lacking a playing partner. Children modelling this play do not show much interest in what others are doing and are preoccupied with themselves. This is an important type of play as it teaches children how to keep themselves entertained. Kids who are most comfortable with themselves do well in social surroundings. 

Recommended Activities: 

  • Give them interactive books 
  • Imaginative toys, puzzle

 Dramatic / Fantasy Play

In this type of play, kids fantasize about different kinds of situations and role-play a character (for instance kids trying to imitate Ben 10 or other characters). Nearly all kids go through this stage although the role-models are basically different ranging from Iron Man to Cinderella to even Tom & Jerry.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Try to play with them while maintaining a character. Let them take the lead.
  • Read story books to them to enhance their imagination.

Onlooker / Observatory Play

Children engaged in on-looker play tend to observe others during play and do not participate in the activity. They learn the mechanisms and minutiae of play through observation. Kids who watch and observe prepare themselves for their eventual participation in such group activities.

Recommended Activities: 

  • This is the time to teach the child things you would like them to do – playing an instrument, reading, or any other habit.
  • Be extra cautious of your conduct since the child will pick up almost everything. 
  • Take them to a park and let them watch others play, even if they don’t want to leave you to join them.

Rivalrous / Competitive Play

Competitive play tends to be well organized with distinct sets of rules and regulations and follow a regular course, towards a common goal of winning. For example – monopoly, hide-and-seek, playing tag, Ludo, soccer, etc.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Board games, hopscotch 
  • Try telling them rules of certain plays like chess and play with them.

Synergistic / Cooperative Play

In this type of play, kids learn the principles of playing in harmony and collaborating with each other. They enjoy playing in a group, whether it’s building sand-castles or throwing ball.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Take your child to a park and let them socialize
  • Plays like football, tee-ball, building sandcastles fit the age

Symbolic / Representative Play

In this type of play, children perform different types of actions using various instruments and objects like guitar, coloring books, working with clay, etc. It also includes vocal activities such as signing, telling jokes, or narrating stories.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Give your child a musical instrument to play 
  • A fun karaoke set will encourage your child to sing

Constructive Play

Any kind of play that triggers the constructing capabilities within the child is termed as constructive play. For instance, building a block with magnetic tiles or using pillows to construct a fort, and so on.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Puzzle-solving fits perfectly at this stage.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to the growth and development of a child, play and academics both go hand in hand and are essential in shaping the child into an interactive and independent person.

We encourage you to promote the value of play in your kids by taking them to parks, scheduling playdates with other kids, etc.

Without the benefit of skills learned through play and trial, kids can be at risk of growing up as introverts and shrink back from any kind of social contact.

Playful Planets The Cozy Indoors

9 Fun Indoor Activities for Tweens

Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring! Stimulate your tween’s mind with these fun indoor activities!

We can’t always expect a Cat in a Hat to come entertain the kids when they’re stuck at home. Whether it is health, weather, or any other circumstances that make your tween sit inside the house, fun indoor activities come in to save the day. 

Here’s a list of 9 fun indoor activities for tweens

Tweens are full of energy and in this article you will read about fun indoor activities that will keep them engaged and entertained. So without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

Fun Workout Activities for the Win

Your tween is stuck inside the house and for some reason can’t go out? All you need is a little music and a good workout activity like dance or even yoga to keep him or her entertained as well as fit. This way your kid will not only have fun, but it will also ensure that your tween burns off excess energy. 

Engage them in Creative Activities

Staying creative is equally important for tweens as it keeps their mind active and healthy. Indulge tweens in a unique craft activity or keep them busy by making them try something different like knitting or creating their own journal. Few other suggestions would be making origami with them or free painting.

A Little Extra Help in the Kitchen!

For some odd reason, kids always get fascinated by what goes on in the kitchen. You could use this opportunity to get a little extra help as you can ask your tween to wash the veggies, or you could do a baking session with them to have fun in the kitchen. 

Keep the ingredients ready and ask your tween to mix everything well—you can make brownies, sponge cake, or cookies. It will not only pass their time, but you might also end up making a delicious dessert. 

Board Games Can Never Be Boring

When there’s nothing to do, your tween can always count on card games, puzzles, or other board games to have fun. Keep a few enjoyable games in handy for when this situation arrives, and you will thank us later. Playing board games will keep your tween busy, and it is also healthy for a child’s brain as board games are tricky and they act as brain teasers. 

Make Them Your Assistant for the Day

Tweens are like fireballs of energy and they just love doing something or the other to burn their fuel. You can ask your tween to clean the closet or set the room to keep them busy for a few hours. This trick will also secretly make your child a helper as you won’t have to do these tasks later. Another good thing about this activity is that your kid will learn to help around the house. 

Choose the tasks creatively for them. You can use this opportunity to instill a habit of doing their own chores.

Picnic in the Balcony Sounds Like a Plan

Do you have a lawn at your place or a balcony? You can plan a fun picnic with your tween in the house itself! 

Spread a sheet, get some snacks, and just sit, relax, and talk with your tween while you all enjoy the pleasant weather. Have your child talk about something that happened at school, or his or her favourite character in a book. This gives you both an opportunity to spend quality time together. Throw in some board games to make it more fun.

Call the Fashion Police!

Let your kid mix and match clothes and experiment different looks.

We are sure that your kid will look super cute in all those outfits, and you can also create a full-fledged fashion show out of it! Make your child walk the ramp, cheer loudly, play good music, and create a whole new vibe at your place. Little things like this develop an unbreakable bond.

Give it a Personal Touch With a Letter 

Letters give a personal touch and hence, they feel special. Make your tween write letters to their friends, grandparents, or loved ones who might not necessarily live around you. You can also have a letter-writing session where you exchange letters with each other. 

Writing letters will keep your kid occupied and it will also make those who receive the letters extremely special.

Set the Strings

Apart from being a fun indoor activity, a musical instrument has tons of benefits. A five-year study concluded that musical training contributes to faster brain development of kids. Along with this, it also helps them in their decision-making process.

It can be a hobby that will keep them engaged for a long time. And they will certainly enjoy it!

These are a few of the many indoor activities that your tween can indulge in to ensure that they have an incredible day inside the home. We hope that you got what you were looking for! 

Playful Planets Roving Rockets Staying Active

7 Creative Leaf Project Ideas for Your Child

A seasoned parent will tell you that there are various types of creative crafts that you can do with your kids. How about doing some leaf-themed projects

Kids generally love playing with leaves, and if you think your kid has a creative mind, then let them get busy making exciting and creative leaf projects. If you are looking for some amazing ideas related to crafts with real leaves to get inspired, we have listed down these easy-to-do leaf projects ideas here. Not to mention, most of these simple and easy leaf project ideas can be done using things around your house.

Here are 7 Leaf Project ideas for your child to do this season

Melted Crayon Leaf Sun catchers

These look super stunning in the warm afternoon light. The best thing is that they are inexpensive and affordable. Before you begin, go on a nature walk with your kid to collect leaves. Maple and ash tree leaves can be a great option. For this project, you will need:

·       A few crayons

·       Mini grater

·       Wax paper

·       Dishcloth

·       Double-sided tape

·       Iron

·       Scissors and sharpie marker

How to make

Invite your kid to very carefully grate the crayons on wax paper using a mini grater. Once done, place another wax paper on the crayon shavings. Lay a dishcloth or a paper towel on top of the wax papers. Then slowly iron the papers—this will make the crayons melt, forming beautiful colours. After that, trace the leaves on the paper, and cut them out. Now, place the cut-outs on the window using double-sided tape.

Here’s an alternative version you might like to try.

A Leaf Lantern

A colourful leaf lantern is a wonderful way to brighten up your indoors. Furthermore, kids of all ages will love it. For this easy-to-do leaf art for kids, you will need:

·       A glass lantern, or you can use a mason jar

·       Fall leaves

·       Glue

How to make

Sit together with your kid and stick the fall leaves around a lantern of your choice or a mason jar using glue. Let it dry. Now, place a small candle inside the glass jar and light it up. Turn off all the other lights to see the magic.

A Leaf Bookmark

If your kid loves to read books and also enjoys spending time making crafts at home, then they will definitely love to make leaf bookmarks. Simply gather these:

·       Leaves of your choice

·       Cardboard or ice-cream sticks

·       Paint

·       Glue

How to make

First, cut the cardboard to create bookmarks. If you have ice-cream sticks, they are great too. Cut the cardboard into various shapes—square, triangle, and circle. Once done, apply the leaves on the strips with glue. To make the bookmarks a little colorful and visually appealing, encourage your child to paint them.You can also create bookmarks using pressed flowers and leaves.

Animals with Leaves

All kids love and adore animals. Converting leaves into animals’ canvases can be one of the best leaf art ideas. You’ll need:

·       Leaves

·       Sketch pens

·       A heavy book

How to make

Explore your garden with your kid and collect leaves of different colours, sizes, and shapes. Place the leaves inside a heavy book and leave them for a few weeks. Take the leaves out and draw different animal figures using sketch pens. Now, stick the leaves on the figures to create fun leafy animals.

Here are some more ideas to inspire your leafy animal creations.

Leaf Greeting Cards

Why buy greeting cards when you can teach your kid to make fun and creative greeting cards for all occasions at home! Whether it’s a birthday card, or a Holiday card, or a Thank You card, your child will love making these using very few tools. 

·       Glue

·       Cardboard

·       Leaves

·       Sketch pens or paints

·       Glitter

How to make

Cut the cardboard to a small greeting card size. Let your kid paint the card with their favorite color. Once done, stick the collected leaves on the card. Draw some figures on the leaves and for a fancier appearance, sprinkle some glitter. Use glue to keep the glitter attached to the card.If you are looking for something simpler, check out this tutorial.

Fairy Lights with Leaves

With this leaf project idea, the nights will become more beautiful. This is ideal for those cool autumn nights where your kid’s room looks like it’s dipped in nature. For this project, you will only need:

·       Fairy lights

·       Fall leaves

·       Glue

How to make

Decorate the room with fairy lights and then stick some leaves on the lights using glue. It’s that simple! To make the room look more interesting, use leaves of a variety of colors.

Leaf Sunflower

Get a little crafty with your kids by using the materials that the nature has to offer, and leaf sunflower project is an excellent example of this. 

·       Glue

·       Yellow leaves 

·       Construction paper

·       Duct tape

·       Scissors

·       Green paper drinking straws

How to make

Take brown construction paper and cut two circles. Apply glue and stick yellow leaves all around one circle. If you do not find yellow leaves, paint the leaves in yellow and let them dry before you use them. Pour a generous amount of glue and add another layer of leaves. Now, apply glue to the second brown circle, stick it to the center of the leaves and press down. Attach green paper drinking straw using tape and wait for the glue to completely dry. Your beautiful sunflower is now ready!