As Einstein said, “Imagination will take you everywhere,” so for a play-of-the-day, kids can blast off with some space pretend play.
Space pretend play doesn’t necessarily require any materials, but kids might want to have a few things. A space suit is beyond most dress-up tickle trunks, although kids are great at turning a small item like a wrist band into all they need. A rocket is much easier to do. To make a rocket or space ship start with an empty cardboard box. Using markers, kids can color on some controls. Your recycling basket will quite likely have other items. An aluminum pie plate could be a window. Glue or tape some plastic water bottle caps to be control buttons. Make stars from cereal boxes or scrap paper. Just getting the rocket ready needs lots of imagination.
Once it’s time to blast off, kids will use some of what they already know and will create what they need. Pretend play is a combination of fantasy as well as reality. Not only that, it mixes thinking with action. Most kids understand that space is far away and rockets zoom but they imagine what they see and hear. Their brains analyse problems and come up with solutions. Kids thinking will also include planning, predicting, and comparing, to name just a few.
Blocks, Lego, and other construction toys might be included in space pretend play. Blogger mum and educator at YouCleverMonkey.com made some wonderful space story stones. Kids use these to create their own scenarios about astronauts, aliens, planets, rockets, asteroids, satellites, stars, etc.
During pretend play, kids can play by themselves or with others. Besides thinking and physical skills, social and emotional skills are also involved. For so many aspects of development, pretend play is a vital component. As children play, whatever they imagine helps them make sense of the world around them. Is your child ready to blast off for some space pretend play?