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Imaginary role playing can be a very valuable creative tool.
“WHAT THE CHILD IMITATES, HE BEGINS TO UNDERSTAND.”—Froebel - 1889.
“Let him represent the flying of birds and he enters partially into the life of birds. Let him imitate the rapid motion of fishes in the water and his sympathy with fishes is quickened. Let him reproduce the activities of farmer, miller and baker, and his eyes open to the meaning of their work. In one word let him reflect in his play the varied aspects of life and his thought will begin to grapple with their significance.”
Children feel a connection to animals. Animal role playing is a great imaginary tool. Have your child choose an animal. Any animal. For the sake of example, let’s pick a squirrel. Go ahead, you can pick squirrel, too, if you like.
Have your child imagine they are a squirrel.
What does it feel like to be a squirrel?
What do you eat?
What is your favorite food?
Where do you sleep?.
What are you afraid of?.
What do you do all day?.
Where were you born?
What is it like to live in a nest? Or a tree?
Is your fur hot?
Do you bathe? Where? How?
What other animals are your friends? Your enemies?
Do you ride a bike?
Bake a cake?
What would a squirrel want for Christmas? For his birthday?
Take a field trip to the library - look for books about squirrels.
Don’t be afraid that your child is too young for the library. No such thing!
“Little squirrel, living there
In the hollow tree,
I’ve a pretty cage for you;
Come and live with me!
“You may turn the little wheel
That will be great fun!
Slowly round, or very fast
If you faster run.
“Little squirrel, I will bring
In my basket here
Every day a feast of nuts!
Come, then, squirrel dear.”
But the little squirrel said
From his hollow tree:
“Oh! no, no! I’d rather far
Live here and be free!”
So my cage is empty yet,
And the wheel is still;
But my little basket here
Oft with nuts I fill.
If you like, I’ll crack the nuts,
Some for you and me,
For the squirrel has enough
In his hollow tree.
Let’s Play A Game
For Group Play:
Squirrel in Trees
Players stand in groups of three—two facing one another with hands joined to form hollow trees. The third stands between them (within the tree hollow) to represent the squirrel.
There is also one odd squirrel outside the tree. Depending on the size of your group, there may be more than one odd squirrel out. That’s ok.
The teacher or leader claps her hands, or plays music, while all squirrels leave their hollows and run for other trees. The odd squirrel tries to secure a tree and the one left out will be the odd squirrel the next time around.
Players' positions may be reversed frequently to give all an equal chance to be squirrels.
S is for Squirrel
S is for the squirrel,
Who had a very bad habit
Of eating all the flowers
In my garden for hours and hours.
Let’s Play A Game
Game for Two or More
This is a good game in which all the members of a family may find pleasure. It develops one's power of observation and memory. The game can be adapted to any situation.
Depending on the chosen subject, you can hide any manner of objects. We’ll be using an acorn or nut in keeping with our squirrel theme. The children will pretend they are a squirrels searching for nuts. One player is chosen as head squirrel and will hide the nut. All of the other players must be either blindfolded or placed in a position where they cannot see the player who is hiding the nut.
The player having hidden the nut returns to the group and describes just how they are to find it. For example:—he gives the following description of the course to follow. "Walk twenty paces in a direct line towards the apple tree at the far end of the garden. There you will find a small stone upon a larger one. Under the small stone you will find an arrow scratched upon the larger one. Follow the directions of this arrow fifteen paces. Then turn sharply to the left, go ten paces, and underneath a stone will be found the prize.”
These directions should be altered to the age of child - two directional changes should be plenty for small children to enjoy or more to add to the challenge for older children.
The players may ask him to repeat the directions once. After repeating, however, they must follow the direction without further questioning. The one successful in finding the nut, hides it next time.
Old magazines are worth their weight in gold.
Have your child leaf through some old magazines and see if they can find a picture or two of a squirrel.
You could also take a snap shot of one if your yard hosts them. Make up a story about what he is doing in the picture.
Cut out the picture and make up a totally different story. Use crayons and paper. Or other magazine pages. Whatever and wherever the imagination takes you.
If you find a few good pictures, tuck one away. In a few months, we’re going to do a fantastic project and we’ll be needing pictures of several animals.
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See you next month.
Hope you will visit our site often and enjoy the many poems, stories and fun things to do.
Nursery Rhymes and Poems
Encourage your kids to fall in love with reading.
Have fun while growing their imaginations.
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