These activities may be best suited for the age(s) shown following each activity. But remember, every child learns at his or her own pace! 1. Use themes from literature to develop your children’s creative play. Read children books on a theme (see Appendix A). Brainstorm with the children how they can turn the play areas into the theme you are reading about.
Brainstorm: What characters could live in a castle? What are the parts of castle? What could you do in the ballroom? Where could the kitchen be? What props do we need? Build the setting.
Before play time, you can Encourage children to develop new characters in their play by playing a game called “You be the... I’ll be the...” Fill a container with slips of paper with different real and make- believe characters from TV and children’s literature. The young children can help you make the list. Let each child choose a character from the container and role play during small group time.
Working with a small group of young children, have them write a TV story of their own. Give the young children some objects and characters to build the story around (for example, a bunny, bear, magic flute, golden egg, and a basket). Help young children create their own story using these items. Then, have the materials available for them to act it out during play time.
Have a box of recycled materials available to create props for their play. Brainstorm with the young children how they could make the props they need. (2’s - 5’s) 5. Developing a superhero! Have the young children choose a favorite superhero. What do they like about the superhero? What don’t they like about the superhero? List the things that they would do the same or differently if they were a superhero.
Read theme-related books to the young children (see Appendix A). View theme-related TV programs and videos. Have children make up different endings for stories. Work with young children to write sequels to the stories. Encourage them to use the content from these books in their dramatic play. (5’s) 7. Have the young children create their own puppets of their favorite media character. They can use socks, bags, sticks, paper plates. Allow the young children to use the puppets to act out their ideas.
8.Watch episodes of Barney and Friends or other programs with a theme. Use the show to widen the young children’s experience base. Next, provide the young children with the appropriate props or materials to make props, costumes, and settings. Play with the young children and talk with them about their play: What are you doing? What do you need? What can I do? Where are we going?
9. Take the young children on as many field trips as possible to give them lots of firsthand experiences. Extend these field trips by creating settings for them to imitate and extend their play. These trips don’t have to cost anything — take the children to the bank, the library, the grocery store, etc
10. Make puppets of their favorite media character. Allow the young children to use the puppets to act out their ideas. Ask them to solve problems in different ways (for example, “You can only use your hands”, “You can only use words”, etc.)
11. Go cloud watching! Take the children outside and have them lie on a blanket and look up to see what they see in clouds. Talk about how the clouds change shape and how different children see different shapes. A good book to reinforce this activity is It Looks Like Spilled Milk.
12. Read a story through to the end. Then read the same story part way through, stop at a crucial point, and ask the children to make up a new ending.