A costume box is an awesome tool to have for role play; so is a collection of puppets, dolls or stuffed animals. All a child has to do is throw on a cowboy hat and lasso, a fireman's coat, or a superhero cape, and suddenly they have reached beyond reality and into the vast expanse of the creative universe.
Three years old seems to be the golden age for imaginative role play to really kick in. Everett's costume box is upended nearly every day in search of pieces to his latest superhero costume. His Spiderman cape is practically his daily uniform now. I love to witness him speeding around and boasting about his superhero capabilities. I try to get in on the action, too.
One particular day last week, I joined in on Superhero play and we spent nearly 30 minutes taking turns playing the superhero and the trapped victim (or victim with baby). It took less than five minutes for Everett to say, "Mommy, I love you," signalling that we had connected on his terms, boosting his confidence and his trust in our relationship.
|The gun, by the way, isn't the killing kind, he says. |
It has magic darts that only shoot the bad guys and disappear them to another world!
Previous to this wonderful stage, puppets and animals or dolls are a great way to interact with younger children. Even at 9 months, Kellan loves to watch a little puppet bounce around making silly noises. It speaks to him on a different level than "talk," gets him giggling, and sets the stage for future imaginative play.