OH NOOOOOO!!!!! Look Out! Here comes the Dinosaurs!
Children will gladly watch videos all day if you let them, but how does that help? They will only be able to see and hear the information being given to them. They don’t have to think of the next move to make or what the next scene has in store. They are just there, absorbing the information like sponges. The sponge becomes wet but without ringing it out, it air dries. You have to put in work to learn. For this reason, I will be using a video to create an example of ways you can interact with your child away from the screens. The following will be a script, not an actual activity for you to do with your child unless you plan on learning all the lines. This is just an example of what you can do with a toy to engage them in total communication while learning and playing.
Jungle Mobile Lab
Passenger 1: Look out! There is a flesh-eating plant ahead! (Truck swerves out of the way)
Kayaker (Passenger 3): Stop all that chatter, let me off here. (Kayaker jumps into the water) Oh no!!! Get back!! Help, there’s a crocodile! (holds his paddle up at the crocodile)
Mysterious Woman (passenger 2): Get out of my way. (propels herself off the crocodiles head onto the tree), I have some treasure to find. Awww, yes… I found the ruby. (Hands the ruby to the driver)
Diver: The mission is complete. Nice work! Now everyone, let’s introduce ourselves. (They all line up)
Spider: Hey, I’m Spydie. I’m easy to miss. Ugh…
Crocodile: Hello there, my name is Crock. I had to be scary for the show. I’m actually the friendlies reptile you’ll ever know.
Passenger 1: I’m Dave, the mechanic.
Mysterious Woman: Hey, it’s Ryan here. I’m the one who showed that crocodile whose boss and grabbed the ruby. Jk, Crock, you know I love you.
Driver: Hi, I’m the Matty, drive as well as the photographer.
Kayaker: I’m Jonathan and I’m the kayaker and a photographer too. Did you notice my camera attached to my kayak? I bet you didn’t…
How Does The Script Help?
It was merely an example to show you that you can use dialog and have the objects move around however you like. In doing this, it allows you to create whatever backstory and helps one use their imagination. This is great for people of all ages. When engaging in pretend play, you should not use a video. I just used it to demonstrate what I was getting at.
Ideal Way To Engage In Pretend Play
I promise I was not trying to rhyme. One of my favorite ways to use pretend play opportunities is to play dress up and tea time, but of course, you can use when playing with action figures, dolls, monster cars, dinosaur toys, Starwars memorabilia and more. When engaging in pretend play, these are the things I like to target:
- What are we doing? (Doing the action: pretend to eat a cake with your tea)
- Where are we? (I’m in the kitchen with teddy)
- Who are we pretending to be? (I’m a doctor. I don’t like tea, I like hot chocolate)
- What are we dressing up as or what tea are we making? (Let pretend we’re models or let’s be ghosts that drink tea)
- Describe our emotions like, “Oh, no! My tea is too hot.” Then I would have to follow through with my result, which is blowing on the cup and the saying, “Ah it’s better now.”
If you like the Jungle Mobile Lab, before you buy it, check out my review.
There are many more ways to play while learning and engaging in creative thinking. This assists in developing the mind as well as understanding various social aspects of one’s life. It helps with understanding what and what not to and their consequences, without the actual feeling of the consequences (Ex. being burned by hot tea) I encourage you, make every day a learning experience using pretend play.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.