Tips for Creative Play from a Professional Clown

Posted on Mar 23, 2007

by Dylan the Clown, with a little help from his mom.**_
_1. **Give yourself permission to be a kid**- Don’t feel that since you are a doctor, grocery clerk or garbage person, or a parent that you have to act mature and adult all of the time. Allowing yourself 30 minutes a day to play with your children will relax you and build a better relationship with your children than all the gifts and money in the world. Plus the more that you allow your children to see you having fun the more they will realize that it is okay to have fun themselves.
2. **Creative play can be anything**- I think that the best way to start is by reading. Read to your children so that they are introduced to story telling at an early age. This will make playing easier for them as well as you since most imaginary play is just acting out or retelling a story. As they get older and you start reading longer books, every night when you stop reading for the night ask them what they think is going to happen next. Sometimes their endings to a book might be better than the authors. This enhances their imagination which furthers their creativity.
3. **Encourage your children to play and talk about it- **When you see you children playing with a toy, for instance a car, ask them what is going on. You will be pleasantly surprised by their answer. Most children have a whole universe they use when playing with one toy and then a whole different one when playing with another toy. By asking them to tell you the story of their play, your children will use their imagination, vocabulary and other important communication skills. Your child will then have an easier time writing, reading and talking in school.
4. **Turn off the T.V.** - It is hard to give undivided attention to any activity while the T.V. is on. So set aside time to play with your children without the interruption of T.V., as well as the phone, housework, etc. You don’t want playing with your child to be a chore. Playing, if you remember from your own childhood, should be a fun time.
5. **You can play anywhere**- Make ordinary activities into an adventure. Going to the grocery store can be a mission to the moon, the cart is a space ship, and you have to get all of the ingredients for the space station’s kitchen. Another great thing about making the grocery store into a game is that you can incorporate reading and math skills into the adventure. Ask your children to read the list, with or without your help, and then have them pick out the least expensive brand or find one for a certain amount. Or for younger kids have them count the items on the list and then count the items in the cart. Not only will your children be entertained, but the grocery store trip will be enjoyable for everyone without the usual squabble over what to buy.
Creative Play for children is a must, it helps children become creative, fun loving life long learners Just remember to laugh, be goofy, have water fights, cook together, read together, hug and wrestle, listen to music and enjoy the time with your children.