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from: C P Gray

As parents, we must allocate sufficient time for play, in order for our children to develop creative faculties early in life, Since children still lack the capacity to communicate effectively, play is often their medium of education.

Since children are not yet equipped with enough visual and speech faculties to effectively communicate their thoughts and feelings with adults, their development and creative traits are best addressed via the world of play. Children respond well to visual stimuli and have been found to learn a lot better and more if information is incoporated into playtime activities. For children, better education is achieved through constant play, especially among toddlers.

Below are some of the play time activities you can use with toddlers to help them develop their creative faculties and other senses faster. A lot of other strategies exist, but the following have been found to be effective in a lot of studies. Enjoy!

I. Dump and Haul

The child begins using pre-verbal gestures to communicate starting ages 10 to 12, associates words with objects, enjoys waving goodbye and speaks her first recognizable word. At this stage, they initiate familiar games and routines with adults.

What you need

- a big basket or pail

- toys that fit into the basket or pail

- a yard of cord

What to do

- Tie a cord through a basket or pail handle. Let the child dump small toys into the basket or pail. Then drag the basket across the room as the child holds the cord.

- The child can dump the contents into another basket or on the floor again.

- Dump and haul, the dump and haul again.

II. Help Me Pack

What it can do for the child

- enrich vocabulary

- practice communication skills

- practice reaching, thereby strengthening arm muscles

What you need

- a used shopping bag or basket

What to do

- This is a fun way to putting away all your child's toys after play time. Start putting toys and other objects in the bag while announcing "It's time to pack away all our things."

- Then encourage the child to join in and help out.

- As you start filling up your own bag, name and identify every object that you pick up.

Try this activity when putting items into a laundry basket, or fixing up your toy shelf.

III. Paper Cup Thrower

Your child is like a miniature Einstein, trying to explore and discover as many things about the world as he or she can every minute. A child learns to solve problems through trial and error and tries to find out the cause-and-effect relationships of every object she or he holds and the actions that are being done.

What it can do for the child

- introduce a cognitive activity that allows the child to explore shapes and spaces

- continue developing cause-and-effect links

What you need

- 10 to 12 pieces of paper cups or plastic cups

What to do

- Things fit together! What's more, the objects look different when they do come together! These are some of the many "great" discoveries of your active toddler. Let the child play with the cups, seeing how they come together and apart, and then come back together again.

IV. Dramatic Play

At age 2 to 3 years, the child is able to concentrate on his or her self-selected activities for longer periods. Pretend-play with parents, siblings, etc becomes the highligh of his or her day as he or she muses on other people's actions, facial expressions, and gestures – and attempts to imitate them.

Make believe or playing pretend is very important in the early years. It is also among the big favorites in a toddler's play choices. The first interest in pretend-play begins as a 10 to 12 month old picks up a rattle, places it near his or her ear, and starts babbling words like an adult would with a telephone.

Dramatic play is one activity that strengthens holistic development. It touches these aspects in a child's growth – cognitive: learning to use symbols through toys, emotional: playing out scenese with emotional weight, social: interacting with others, creating friendships, bonding with family, language: talking to each other, thinking of plots, new words, expressions, and physical: using gestures, facial expression, and playing "dress up".

Christine P Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of creativity. Her website provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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