No, this doesn’t mean that we are pretending it’s spring, although some regions are. How about some pretend play about birds for a spring play-of-the-day?
In the spring, birds fly back north as the snow line retreats across the continent. The birds build nests, lay eggs, hunt for worms and seeds to feed the babies, and encourage the young to fly away and leave the nest. There’s lots of ways to play being birds and lots of thinking and learning happening too.
Making a nest involves a lot of steps. Since it’s like a circle, Sister needed something the same shape. She found a basket (see bottom) and began the tree. The sofa cushion was the tree, and the table cover the branch. A pillow made the nest soft.
Using one object to be something else in play seems simple but it’s a big step in development. For instance, when we read, we use squiggles and lines to represent things. Imaginative play utilizes a great deal of symbolic thought as children use items and pretend.
During play, Sister connected all she knew about birds to her actions. Connecting action and thinking in imaginative play require some skill in making decisions. Kids need to choose what to do and how to do it. Some children are more impulsive than others and some are very hesitant. These are tendencies that kids sort through when they are making choices. In pretend play, even though children are controlling the agenda, they are faced with having to decide. The sitting on the nest part didn’t last long because Sister chose to fly instead.
Speaking of flying, the dad at Night of the Living Dad made these wonderful wings for his three kids. Pretend play appeals to kids of various ages and allows for different interests. The kids got to choose what kind of wings they wanted. While pretending to fly, both their bodies and their brains got exercise and stimulation.
Can your child stretch wings today with some pretend play for the birds?