Thursday, May 19, 2011

Animal Volleyball

Today was all about unstructured pretend play... led by my son. The only thing that I did was to help create an environment filled with a few fun props that would encourage him to be creative. 

The team members: we grabbed all of the stuffed animals we could find...

We picked teams

Then we started playing volleyball (notice the chair covered with a blanket... that was our net).

This version of volleyball included no boundaries... you just whack the ball over the "net" and yell that you scored or you won... It is much better than typical volleyball, because everyone is a winner!

The animals played volleyball for awhile... and then they became volleyballs (as they got thrown across the net again and again... and then got whacked).

I tried to just follow my little guy's lead and let him make the rules of the game. I typically tend to try and take over and come up with rules or give too many suggestions of what we should do... which leads to less creativity on his part. Today he just laughed and laughed hysterically as we tried to pretend to be the different animals. Obviously his way of playing is much more fun than mine!

After volleyball, everyone needed to have a snack. He brought all 8 animals over for snack time...

Yakitty Yak then needed his own plate of snacks (and no, I did not pour that many fish crackers onto a plate... the little guy did). It will probably take him all week to eat them.

Then the animals all needed a treat (chocolate chips). It was cute to see him make sure that each animal got a handful of treats... and then he slowly ate all of their chocolate chips himself :) It was also cute to watch him ask the animals questions and come up with answers for them... and name them all. We had such a fun afternoon!

I post a lot of the cutesy projects or learning games that we do on this blog, but I don't post about pretend play activities often enough. We spend the majority of our day doing unstructured playing or pretend play... with little art and learning activities thrown in from time to time. In my opinion, the unstructured play, play with friends, and imaginative play is much more important than ABCs, numbers, and doing crafts.  

Does your child have a favorite prop that he likes to use for imaginative play?  
Do you tend to structure play and activities for your child... or do you just follow their lead?

This week I'm linking this post up at It's Playtime. Click on the button below to check out several other fun ways to play!
It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow

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