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Articles : Nurturing Play Spurs Creative Imagination

Nurturing Play Spurs Creative Imagination

By Vicki Durr

It's a constant endeavor to try to keep kids busy and interested in daily activities. Nurturing play such as jigsaw puzzles, scavenger- treasure hunt games, camping, healthy cooking, educational toys, or kids crafts are a great way to spur their imagination, keep them busy and interested in a specific task and help them learn great skills and family values.

Jigsaw puzzles have for years been enchanting both children and adults alike and providing hours of fun. Jigsaw puzzles originated in the 1760's by European mapmakers and is a key element in building strong family relationships as well as:

  • Developing concentration and memory skills
  • Fostering fine motor skills
  • Increasing your child's self-esteem
  • Encouraging matching and sorting skills
  • Teaching team-work
  • Re-enforcing your child's education
  • Stimulating discussion and language development

Scavenger-treasure hunt games have become an integral part of our pastimes and continue to be an exciting family tradition. The scavenger minded people are energetic when searching for unique items that will earn the greatest point potential for their team before the clock runs out. Whereas the treasure minded people appreciate the challenge of solving mysteries by decoding clues that lead them to a precious, valuable treasure. We use scavenger-treasure hunt games for entertainment at parties and other family get-togethers.

Family camping trips are excellent opportunities to spend together as a family. You learn how to work together as you forget all the cares of your everyday life and at the same time discover Mother Nature's beauties. You won't have all the luxuries of home, but camping provides unique lifelong experiences that you don't find at home, such as...

  • No showers except for an occasional bath in the nearby stream
  • Hikes to discover wild animals, flowers and tall meadow grass
  • Gathering firewood for the campfire to roast hotdogs or marshmallows, bake campfire pies or Smores
  • Flashlight tag played in the dark, stories told or songs sung around the campfire
  • Cooking in or on the fire, a brown paper sack, or on a propane stove

The kitchen is a great place to communicate and re-connect with your child as you prepare meals and snacks. Reading recipes and measuring ingredients teaches math concepts in a hand on fun environment. This is a perfect opportunity to find out what's going on in your child's life while spending quality time together.

We want to give our children the best to help them learn and grow. Educational toys and kids crafts are a great way to accomplish this goal while both you and your children have fun. Educational toys and crafts come in many different forms and will vary according to your child's needs, age, and preferences.

Sprinkling a combination of these nurturing play activities throughout your child's daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedule are proven and time-tested to produce happy, healthy, confident children in a securely rooted family. What better way to spend a childhood than with parents who care, support, and love unconditionally…all through the power of play!!! •

© Vicki Durr 2004

About the Author
Vicki Durr is an experienced parent and daycare professional. She publishes the "Down Home News" and has been interviewed live from the Dallas, Texas studios of WBAP News/Talk 820, an ABC/Disney Company. She has been married for 27 years and has two grown children.