As the temperatures go down does your child still long for excitement? Staying indoors is no reason to get the winter doldrums. Even small children miss going outside and running and playing. This activity will help your family find a grand adventure in your own living room!
Ask your child whether he or she wishes to visit a cliff-y beach, a bright colored rain forest, an ancient castle, or a faraway desert sand dune today. Chances are, at first, the child will look at you like you are off your rocker! But you can explain that you are going to create a beautiful adventure together!
Gather all of your fluffy blankets, some kitchen or dining room chairs and floor pillows.
Grab some fancy duds and/or your best pretend clothes.
Make a healthy snack or tea that matches your chosen adventure.
Some happy music
Set mood lighting
our best imagination Be ready to play!
Using your child's imagination, help him or her drape blankets over chairs, couches and shelves to transform the room into the chosen wonderland.
After the wonderland castle, beach, rain forest or desert dune is built ask your child to tell a story about the adventure you are on. Pretend you are characters in a play and your child is the star and the director. Have your child tell you what you would do, what you would say, how you would act if you were really in the imaginary place. Follow your child's lead as his or her ideas take flight!
Ask your child to tell you about what you would be able to see, smell, touch and hear in the place you chose. If he or she needs help filling in the details you can add them. By creating the space through words you can transport yourselves to your dream place and forget all about winter!
Spending quality time together can come in many different shapes and sizes. Kids thrive when we devote our uninterrupted attention to them and even more so when we allow them to direct our shared play. We can learn more about their inner worlds and we show them that we really care about what they think! Seeing adventures through their eyes can also bring a light and innocence back to our own life which can be missing when we, ourselves, have to deal with the adult world. In other words we all win!
Here's hoping the laughter in your home is boisterous, the stars in your living room are numerous, and the love in your heart overflows!
Originally printed in Nurture: Australia’s Natural Parenting Magazine, (2013). All Rights Reserved.