Any plans for spring break?
We barely have time to get back to our routine and recover from the Christmas holidays that it's already here. Spring break! What to do? We find ourselves asking the question to search engines (someone on the internet should know, right?). Skating, sliding, renting a cottage, visiting museums, going to the swimming pool, and so on and so forth!
Why not just play? Symbolic games* are a great way to initiate play while letting children develop their creativity and autonomy. While playing with your little one, pretend going to a grocery store, start a load of laundry or even sit down for tea time, and let your child guide you for the rest!The benefits of pretend play are numerous: the development of autonomy, resourcefulness, self-confidence and the ability to take initiatives.
ENCOURAGE AND STIMULATE AUTONOMOUS PLAY
What's the idea of doing this during spring break? Because it takes time and a bit of material to allow your little one to build their imaginary universe. Of course, you can stock up on accessories and furniture to encourage this kind of play (our children spend HOURS cutting and preparing vegetables and fruit in their mini kitchen). But don't worry - building a good old fashioned fort out of couch cushions and blankets does the job just fine!
Promoting autonomous play doesn't mean not getting involve in their universe! Play your part. Let them take control and direction of the game scenario and give them suggestions only when needed.
Finally, do not hesitate to bring symbolic play back to real life! For example, take the time to explain everything you do when preparing meals, going to the grocery store, cleaning or even washing… Your little one will be able to associate your gestures with his play scenarios and (eventually) apply them in his daily life.
Who knows ? Maybe they'll develop an unconditional love of cleaning and help you do it! (One can always dream…)
LEARN TO LET GO
Lastly, we should also take advantage of the break to go outside and exercise (which allows us to be reassured that the children will fall asleep exhausted at the end of the day - point not to be overlooked). But, did you know that boredom in children can have several benefits on their development*? Yes mama!
When toddlers are bored, they:
- develop their independence and autonomy
- tame moments of loneliness
- discover their passions and develop their creativity and imagination.
This suggestion is (definitely) against the current, but let's not forget that break is theoretically synonymous with rest...
All this being said, the whole village wishes you a fun and (somewhat) relaxing spring break!
*RESOURCES AND REFERENCES