Here is an invitation for children to play and create. You can use common household items, various pieces purchased at a discount store and include some wonderful homemade play dough. Setting up an invitation to play and create for kids is a fabulous way to engage them in creative play and experimentation.
Suggested age : 6 months
(N.B This is completely dependent on the items you make available to them)
What is an invitation to play?
Fantastic question! The term ‘invitation to play’ describes the opportunities given to children to play and explore with various materials and objects in whatever way they choose. With this in mind, you can believe that there is literally billions of different ways children can become engaged in this type of play. So to break it down, an invitation to play is –
In my most recent invitation to play that I set up for Possum (aged 2.1) I whipped up a fresh batch of no cook play dough, which you can see me demonstrate in a video of how it’s made, and used some bits and pieces I’ve had in my craft draw. You could also use my recipe base here, which works really well.
What do I include in an invitation to play?
It’s important to remember that an invitation to play doesn’t have to include lots of fancy or expensive objects or materials. They can simply be things you find around the house that are safe for the age of your child. It’s a process of discovery so simply throwing some plastic cups with rice and a tub of water could simply be an invitation to play. It’s amazing what children can create, more than you’d possibly think of yourself! LOL
- pipe cleaners
- paddle pop sticks
- tooth picks
Of course it all began with what Possum was most comfortable using, the paddle pop sticks. I was thrilled to see that she skewered one paddle pop into each batch of play dough. This demonstrated some understanding of one-to-one correspondence, otherwise known as bijection.
As eager as I was for her to start using the decorative sequins and amazing fluffy feathers, she began smooshing (yes, I’m claiming that as a word) the play dough together and using her fingers. Play dough is so great for developing strength in the hands and fingers. Perfect for building on those fine motor skills.
I had to resist the urge to have a play myself (and interfere) with her wonderfully engaging experience. I’m aware that I sometimes do try to get involved when I should just take a step back and watch the magic happen. Kate from Picklebums wrote a fabulous article about her own influences on her children’s play, which I think reflects how I see things too.
Would your child enjoy engaging in an invitation to play like this one?
Some more invitations to play that you might enjoy