imaginative play

Easter Bunny Paper Plate Craft & Imaginative Play

Kids are natural scientists and amazing magicians.With this Easter Bunny paper plate craft, instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, they transform into one.

bunny ears paper plate craftImagination is a very powerful form of magic. Let your child color a paper plate, using paint, crayons, or markers. Once that part is done, adult hands need to help. Leaving an inch or two of band around the edge of the paper plate, trace 2 ears in the middle. These are long and thin and go right up the band. Make the base of the ears fairly wide. Carefully cut around them but do not cut thru the base. Bunny ears are fairly floppy but you can reinforce these with a piece or two of tape where they join the plate.

With this headband, kids are now the Easter Bunny. Little Sister used some plastic eggs in a bucket and hid them around the house for Big Sister to find. Once she had found them all, they traded places and Big Sister got to hide some. They played this several times, taking turns.

Little Sister wasn’t as fast to find the eggs so she needed some clues. Once, she hid an egg so well her sister couldn’t find it but she couldn’t remember where it was. They both had to search. Sometimes, things can be hidden in plain sight but are hard to see.

Kids don’t need magic wands. They have imaginations. Imaginative and pretend play gives them extraordinary powers. Kids can do anywhere and do anything in their play. A craft like this one isn’t really necessary but kids like to use a few props.

A leading expert in children’s learning and education, Sir Ken Robinson, believes that “imagination is the source of all human achievement.” We need creative and  imaginative thinkers for innovation.

Sir Ken Robinson, author and expert in learning and education, attributes human achievement to imagination. It is “one of the key components of creativity and innovation.” (The Importance of Imagination and Creativity in Children’s Development)

Imagination and creativity turn this Easter bunny paper plate craft into a playful opportunity for kids. Is somebunny playing at your house?

Fairies, Leprechauns, and Imaginative Play

A great deal of the appeal of St. Patrick’s Day is the fun of imagining. Fairies, leprechauns, and imaginative play can happen on other days too.

We’ve all heard Einstein’s words, “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.” Somehow, fantasy takes second place to reality. But children—and also adults, need imagination as part of the real world. We understand other people’s feelings when we can imagine how they feel. We can see their point of view when we imagine how things look to them.

To help children develop critical social skills, adults often ask, “How would you feel? What would it be like if someone did that to you?” Essentially, we are asking children to imagine.

imaginative playSome ideas for pretend play about leprechauns and fairies would be to invite children to set up a miniature space for them. Big Sister found some small objects in a drawer in the bathroom and imagined that The Three Bears found a fairy space when they went for a walk to let their porridge cool. She proudly showed what she’d created.

This is a photo of another child making fairy stew with nature items. This is a pretend activity that can be done over and over. Hands are busy and so are minds.

fairy soupPlaying in the sand box, might be digging for leprechaun treasure. Who knows what’s buried and just waiting to be found? A rock might be a magical crystal that has amazing powers.

Kids can imagine they are fairies and leprechauns. They may have to fight giants or other creatures. In pretend play, kids get to feel brave and powerful. In the real world, they often feel just the opposite.

Brains are incredibly busy during pretend play solving problems, planning, creating, predicting, comparing, trying, talking, and more. Fairies, leprechauns, and imaginative play are a way for children to stretch their thinking and understanding, helping them to go both beyond and within reality. Just imagine…

Star Wars Play with Box and Tube

When is a box not a box? When kids play. Today’s activity, Star Wars play with Box and Tube, engages the whole child, body, brain, heart, and imagination.

play with a boxThe materials needed are, of course, a box of a fairly good size and a long cardboard tube or roll. Anything else, like crayons, glue, paints, scissors attached to grown-up hands, aluminum foil, etc. can be determined by kids, likely as they negotiate with parents and caregivers.

To kids a box is both contained and limitless. It can become a small, private world where they are in charge and make the rules. But, at the same time, it is unlimited in possibilities. A pirate boat, a car, a store, a fort, a whatever. The box can sit in the middle of the floor, safely at home and travel to mighty battles in distant galaxies.

A paper towel, wrapping paper, or other tube is a magic wand, for it can conjure up anything. With a tube in hand, kids feel brave and strong, quite different from every day when they are the smallest and it seems like adults are in charge of everything.

paper roll lightsaberLittle Sister wanted to make a lightsaber. Wrapping paper rolls are usually long enough but since we didn’t have one, found 3 shorter ones in the recycling. Since they can be any color, she painted a tube any color. It seemed brushing the color on wasn’t fast enough, so instead she just rolled the whole thing in paint. It wasn’t shiny enough tho but adding tin foil helped. With a doll in one arm, and the lightsaber in the other, she advanced on a big stuffed leopard. Her body posture was quite firm and straight. She was brave, she announced later.

Isn’t it amazing what kids learn? We often have no idea how they have figured out so many things. Kids have no actual experience of swords or warriors, other than the second-hand of books and screens, yet they take on the manners as soon as they pretend to hold one.

Star Wars play with box and tube may look quite different from our outside view than it does from the imaginative view of a child. Come to think of it, isn’t that how the movies themselves started—in the imagination?

Part Nine: To a Child, Love is Spelled T I M E

Spending Time and Pretend Play with Kids As parents and caregivers, we especially do not need to be experts when we engage in pretend play with our children, because we can imagine anything we need! Instead of calling the time with kids ‘spending’, it should be ‘investing’. We all have the skills to be able … Continue reading Part Nine: To a Child, Love is Spelled T I M E