Creative Play – it just sounds fun, right? That creative side of a child, or the child in all of us, brings out something special. I find for my children and myself, creative, not too scripted, maybe even a bit messy, sensory play just brings out a calming happiness.
Here are some fun ideas:
- Painters tape – Such an inexpensive necessity for creative play! The most popular activity is taping out a mosaic shape on the sidewalk or driveway and chalking a rainbow of happiness. But how about a new idea with the trusty painters tape and some cardboard from those Amazon shipping boxes! Tape out a mosaic version of whatever holiday is upcoming: Christmas tree, heart, pumpkin, turkey, egg, you name it. Then, using paint, fill in the areas with a variety of colors. Let it dry, remove the tape and reveal the mosaic masterpiece!
- Paper plates – Yes, another inexpensive supply. We simply take a paper plate, which you can have your kids color or decorate to their liking. We then use a hole punch to poke holes throughout the middle of the plate. Then the adventure starts! We venture out, either in your neighborhood, park or nature trail. We gather all the wildflowers and weeds, poking them through a hole with each find. This can be as educational and adventurous as you’d like, depending on the ages of the children. Searching for certain colors, number of petals, creating a pattern on your plate. It allows them to explore nature and their senses all while using those fine motor skills of poking the stem through the hole. Our collection created a beautiful bouquet of nature’s palette that the kids created all on their own.
- Cereal, Beans, Noodles and Rice – No, not for my grocery list. However, adding one or two of these to your sensory play is a great idea! We love sensory bins. We use storage bins, big or small. Add your ingredients, some spoons, ice cube trays, measuring cups, funnels, etc. Then, these can easily be geared toward your child’s interests. We will do letters and numbers, plastic animals, cars and tractors. . Sensory bins are not a new concept, but the possibilities to change and adapt bins for children’s imaginary play are endless.
- Play-dough – Oh the joys of play-dough! First off, limit it to a non-carpet room, the end. My children really enjoy using it with cookie cutters and such. But play-dough monsters are a game changer. I get googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, feathers, the decorative confetti cutouts, anything you’ve got left in a craft drawer will work. Then let their minds run wild creating their own one-eyed, six-armed, pom nose monsters! Just a table of creative, sensory, imaginative play!
- Chalk – Yep, I’m sure you can find it on a dollar aisle near you right now. We do a lot with chalk. Creating artwork, practicing writing our names, letters, numbers, games and mazes, good old hopscotch. But a new take is wet chalk. It turns out that if you dip or soak chalk in water it becomes basically a watercolor paintbrush! Take some white card stock or plain paper and let your littles paint away with their wet chalk! Let these Picasso paintings dry and you have some really adorable, decorate-your-house-worthy pieces!
As you can see, keeping it simple is the route we usually take. Allowing creativity and our natural senses to lead the way. Exploring and creating truly has no limits, no rules, no right or wrong. Enjoy the simple. Take time to get your hands dirty and see if, even for a little moment, you feel a sense of calming happiness. Then, if all else fails, put them in the bathtub with popsicles! Works every time!
I’m Sara Warnick, owner, designer and maker of Sand Plum Soul Designs. I create authentic, handmade jewelry and truly feel amazed that each day I get to create as a job. Therefore, as a mom of two, (a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old), I thrive in creative play. It is my sweet spot for fun in our home. If you’d like to see my creative outlet, please feel free to follow Sand Plum Soul Designs on social media or view the website at SandPlumSoulDesigns.com.