Saturday, July 30, 2011

Play and Grow Smart-er Tips

Nancy Pyne-Hapke, author of "Play and Grow Smart, A Guide Supporting Brain Development, Birth through Five," has been giving tips to aid your child's optimum skill development through proactive neuroscience-based activities. These ideas come from scholarly sources to personal interviews, from the internet to periodicals to books.
“CREATIVITY” involves imagination, ingenuity, invention/originality, creative thinking, dramatic/visual/musical arts.THE CRITICAL WINDOWS during which the circuits of the brain are being most heavily wired for Creativity is 1 – 4 years with lifelong expression. The more opportunity children have to experience healthy, positive and nurturing Creativity experiences during this critical period, the more efficiently their brains will work over the long run.
A FEW DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING TOOLS (toys and other objects) for CREATIVITY: • blocks • dolls and stuffed animals • books • sandbox • water • costumes and props • play figures • child-sized dishes and tools • art materials • construction sets • music and instruments
Forms of creativity: ART (visual), LANGUAGE (written or spoken), MUSIC/MOVEMENT (bodily movement), FANTASY (pretending).Some general “Creativity: FANTASY” tidbits:
•• FANTASY is expressing ideas and feelings through pretending. It can include playing “make-believe,” day-dreaming, talking with imaginary companions and reading fantasy books. Fantasy play comes naturally, allowing Toddler and Preschooler to feel powerful and in control, doing the ordering instead of being ordered.
•• CREATIVE/IMAGINATIVE play often stimulates physical growth (playing “cops and robbers” or music video stars) and social growth (imaginary play pretending to be a teacher, parent or doctor).
•• EARLY, FROM 18 months, Toddler enjoys simple pretend play like wearing hats. Using a bottle/spoon, he’ll pretend to feed a doll/stuffed toy.
Next week – “Creativity: Fantasy, Pt. 2”
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