Most adults remember dressing up in costume and performing an impromptu skit for family and friends. Choosing a pot for a helmet, a wooden spoon for a sword, and a pillow for the dangerous dragon was all part of the excitement and creativity. For children that love being the spotlight by grabbing the attention of everyone around, what could be more natural that acting out a play?
Children instinctively love games they can play with parents or older siblings. Whether it is hiding behind fingers in a game of ‘peek-a-boo’ or getting toe-tickled after a game of ‘this little piggy,’ your baby may want to play the activity repeatedly because it thrills his or her sense of adventure. As you hide behind your hands, you are teaching your child there is more to the world than what they can see.
Dressing up in costume and swinging an Obi Wan Kenobi lightsaber as you cheer him or her on in the battle against a giant unseen villain can be a fun way for your child to understand the drama of a play, but it can also teach the little one how to use his or her imagination. Creativity is sometimes stifled in children as they are taught that the sun has to be yellow and grass is always green. Why not teach your child that the sun can be purple, and dragons can be fought with a flyswatter and pot lid? Take the play-acting to another level and add old clothing, hats, and jewelry. Then, don’t be surprised if your child wants to perform for you every day.
As your child learns to communicate, telling a story can become part of the drama, play, or skit your wee one performs for your enjoyment. Not only will he or she be able to swing that Obi Wan Kenobi lightsaber around, but your tot can also tell you about what action is taking place as he or she banishes the evil fluffy bunny into the void of eternal flowers. Don’t be surprised if your little one wants to have makeup added to the costume ritual in preparation for the play – it adds to the fun.
Teaching your child that creative dreams can be acted out for the world to see can be beneficial to his or her little brain development. You can even be the king and let your child join into the ride across the countryside on your imaginary horses. What could be more fun for a child?