Stuffed Animal Fun
Encouraging Creative Stuffed Animal Play
Every parent wants their children to develop and stretch their intellectual and creative muscles as much as possible, and stuffed animals can help with that. Kids often have stuffed animals from a very early age, and they frequently play a central role in a young child's life. There's a good chance that children will play creatively with their stuffed animals all on their own, but there are a few things parents can do to encourage and grow the creative play kids have with their stuffed animals.
This may seem obvious, but when you're interacting with kids choose one of their stuffed animals and make him talk. Invent a voice! Whether or not it sounds anything like the real animal the stuffed animal toy is meant to represent doesn't matter. Just make the stuffed animals talk and interact with the child and other stuffed animals. Then it's the kid's turn to make another stuffed animal talk. This is a particularly useful creative activity to play with a shy child and his stuffed animals. It lets the child invent and be creative while shielding himself behind the stuffed animal.
Then, take the creative play one step further and include your child's stuffed animals in your own playtime with him. If you're playing "school," treat the stuffed animals as students. When playing "doctor," the stuffed animals are patients. The stuffed animals are the honored guests at the tea party. This will not only open your child up to more creative play; it will also encourage him to be creative with stuffed animals while playing without you.
At dinnertime, ask your kids what their stuffed animals did that day. This enables kids to concretely recount their stuffed animal play, but also leaves room for them to invent some creative stories. You can even continue to use stuffed animals as a catalyst for creativity once the child gets a little older by asking him to write in a journal about the stuffed animals' adventures.
Stuffed animals by their very nature, which mimics reality but not too closely, encourage creative play in children. With just a bit of nudging by parents, kids will expand their creative stuffed animal play and develop stronger creative muscles than they could have without their favorite furry friends.