Looking out of the window, we can finally say that “Spring has sprung”, but looking back over the last few months of winter, there has been an overriding sense that we have experienced a lot of snow. For some, this may’ve been a big inconvenience, but for a child there is always a sense of fun and wonder.
As adults, we can get bogged down with the material world and forget it is important to nurture the sense of awe and wonder in children. I can understand that often this is difficult, with the demands, business and stress of today’s world, but if (as a grown up) you can step back for a few moments and look at things through the eyes of a child, this will be helpful for them and perhaps create a new dimension in life for you.
How about doing a bit of sledging? It’s always enjoyable and you don’t even need a sledge – try taking a spin on a bin liner or tray! I suggest that you keep safety in mind when doing these things.
What about bringing the snow inside if it is too cold for you outside?
You will need:
- a large plastic sheet
- a towel
- a large tray (like a cat litter tray, kept for play only)
- small toys, e.g., a selection of play animals, favourite fantasy figures or tea set
- waterproof apron (or clothes that you don’t mind getting wet)
- shovel of snow
Fill the tray with snow and place on the plastic sheet with a towel on top and encourage imaginary play using your child’s chosen toys.
I can hear alarm bells ringing for some, as this is a very brave idea for those who are not keen on mess! All I can say is, try it. You can easily pack up if things get out of hand. On a warmer day, you could even bring back the memories of icy days with ice cubes from your freezer, using the same materials.
Pause for thought:
Ask yourself: what is stopping me from playing in this way with my child (grandchild/niece)?
Go on try it!
Pretend play helps a child understand the world and play out situations which might puzzle or frighten them. It will also help to develop the imagination. Playing with snow will help a child to learn what materials do and understand basic science ideas. It will also build a positive relationship between you and the child you are caring for.
Talking to your child, while you do any task, is a way of developing language and creating an interest in different aspects of life. Periods of snow are great opportunities to contemplate the wonder of a snowflake and the beauty of nature.
Watch and comment on what your child is doing as they play – they will feel you are giving them good attention, and every child thrives on attention from adults. It will also create a very good memory for the future.
We imagine that this sort of play is for the under 5’s but in my experience, I have seen that much older children still enjoy ideas like this.
Hope you all enjoy yourselves! Let me know.