How do you let kids be kids? Grab 10 Ways to Encourage Pretend Play, with lots of tips for parents. This post is sponsored by Disney Book Group. All imaginative play opinions are my own.
10 Ways to Encourage Pretend Play
May she never lose her love for play.
Childhood by very definition is all about playtime. And I have to admit, I really love this age for play. Wrapping up our kindergarten year, it’s been a whirlwind of growth for this little girl. From absorbing book after book to singing endless songs to exploring new adventures to playing all day every day – I absolutely LOVE this age. I wish I could freeze time, especially with the lazy days of summer ahead. But may our kids never lose their love for play, no matter what age they are. Today I’m slowing down time and encouraging all parents to find the time for playtime with our kids and 10 Ways to Encourage Pretend Play.
New Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! from Mo Willems
Books, aka a child’s window to imagination! I love how books can instantly transport my kids to a new world or play with a best friend. There’s something so comforting and yet exciting about digging into not just any book – but a good book. And with a 6-year old finishing up kindergarten, this girl is all about good books, especially ones from Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series.
What happens when best friends Harold and Hog try to be like Elephant & Piggie? Can their friendship survive? The 6th book in the series from author Dan Santat, Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! encourages kids to be kids – and play pretend!
She has been constantly reading and laughing along with her friends Elephant & Piggie. And the newest release Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! (now in stores!) has this little girl giggling and playing along with this hilarious adventure.
10 Ways to Encourage Pretend Play
Don’t let the “summer slide!” Pump up the play time with these 10 ways to encourage pretend play for kids.
- Read books and tell stories – some of the best play ideas come from characters and places they already know. (Psst, the new Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! book from the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series is a good place to start.)
- Limit screen time – while technology is certainly enticing, it limits children’s ability to play outside of the box. Limit screens to maximize open play opportunities.
- Get outside – leave it to nature for a little inspiration! Encourage the outdoors for playtime.
- Play with them – sometimes Mom and Dad have to show them how it’s done. Like following directions or trying something new, some kids just need a little push from someone they know and trust.
- Stock up on art supplies – nothing says play like creativity! A little art can stir up some fun play time ideas. One of our favorite summer activities is playing with sidewalk chalk!
- Allow for a little chaos – that means giving up a little parental control. Allow your kids for a little freedom outside of the safe parental borders and let them explore new possibilities.
- Schedule free play – not every moment needs to be structured. I find that my kids do better knowing that free play is on the horizon. They can anticipate and plan for fun activities!
- Consider props and simple toys – dress up/role play with a little help is a great way to encourage pretend play.
- Be silly with your kids – it’s about letting your kids know that it’s FUN and safe to play! Laugh, tell jokes, and just enjoy the moment!
- Let them be bored – remember when you were little? Boredom encourages new ways to play!
Join the Mo Willems Thank-o-rama Celebration!
Are your kids in love with Mo Willems’ books too? Then get in the fun this month for the annual Mo Willems Thank-o-rama celebration! Mo Willems’ annual ThankoRama is a month long celebration in May derived from the final book in the Elephant & Piggie series, The Thank You Book. It’s a celebration of thanking all, especially children, for being readers. Visit ThankORama.com to find an event near you and grab FREE Mo Willems’ printables like coloring pages, kids activities and more. Perfect for summer and to encourage pretend play!
We are so thankful for Mo Willems and imaginative books like Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!. So no matter how your kids love to play, encourage pretend play this summer and all childhood long with these tips and the new book Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!, in stores now.