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Friday, 29 June 2012 17:53

All The World's A-Play: BEACH Play

Pretend play, face-to-face Pretend play, face-to-face

“All The Worlds A-Play”, Part 2: BEACH Play

By Janet Ringle-Bartels & Julie Windham

     Play can become a bridge for you and your child as you do activities together. Whether you join your child in something as familiar as burying toes in the sand or as complex as going on a nature hike, you have the opportunity to promote your child's development and learning within a safe and secure environment. When you join children in their play, you accept them for whom they are, where they are and value them as unique individuals and learners.

                   So, how do you play?

     Well, remember what was fun for you as a child.  Do those crazy, “senseless” things again.  With your child imagine a box to be a house, car, a fort, a tent, a giant’s shoe, or a cave.  Explore the box by going in it, on it, fly it, push or pull it, shout in it, whisper in it, lift it, spin it, or shake, rumble and roll in it.
     Talk with your child as you play.  Paint the world, paint your face or paint the sidewalk.  Discuss whatever you do, imagine things a new way, take turns and/or play without using words.  Show off, act ideas out, explore your emotions.  Talk about “what ifs”; be the bear that is afraid of little animals.  Or, play the old familiar games of hide and seek, tag, I spy, or “Mother May I?”  It is the old and familiar, the activities that can’t be bought at the local store or the ones that need no batteries that become the most fun, interactive and create a lifetime of memories as we watch our children grow.
     So, as you approach the summer, our advice can be summed up in the phrase, “Do the BEACH.”

Be Together – Eye to eye, face to face, idea to idea and feelings to feelings.

Explore your child’s interests and passions.

Assume nothing and everything.  Rocks can talk.  Water can sing.  Sand can be oozed, dripped, rolled, shaped and cut.  Books can be bug tents.  Bubbles can represent people, planes or ideas.

Create opportunities.  The beach is full of opportunities ranging from simple problem-solving to planning a sequence of ideas, to acting out and retelling stories and events.

Have FUN! And PLAY!

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