Make Believe

Make Believe

Make Believe

Dive into a world of fantastic stories that will spark your little one's curiosity, inspire their creativity, and lead them to new discoveries.We are talking about the limitless power of imagination.

The experts at The Courtyard Playhouse understand the importance of nurturing thought, imagination, and creativity in children and are sharing their expertise on the subject.

Here are some insights and tips they shared for parents to introduce and enhance these qualities in their children:

  • Encourage storytelling: Engage children in imaginative storytelling sessions where they can create characters, settings, and plotlines. This not only enhances their creativity but also strengthens their language and communication skills.
  • Embrace spontaneity: Encourage children to embrace spontaneity and think on their feet through improvisational games and activities. This helps them develop quick thinking, adaptability, and confidence in expressing themselves.
  • Foster a playful environment: Create a playful environment at home where children feel free to explore their ideas and express themselves without fear of judgement. Encourage them to engage in creative activities such as drawing, role-playing, or building with blocks.
  • Provide open-ended materials: Offer children open-ended materials like art supplies, building blocks, or dress-up costumes that allow them to explore and create without limitations. This fosters a sense of curiosity, experimentation, and problem-solving skills.

Suggested Activities:

0-2 years
    • Sensory Exploration & Mirror, Mirror:

    Activity: Fill a sensory bin with colorful scarves, soft balls, and textured toys. Sit facing your baby and mimic their movements as they explore the sensory materials.

    Narrate a simple story about the textures they're feeling and the colours they're seeing. Improv Integration: As you mirror your baby's movements, add imaginative narration such as, "Look at you splashing in the water! Are you swimming with the fish?"

    • Music and Movement & Peek-a-Boo:

    Activity: Play upbeat music and encourage your baby to clap their hands, stomp their feet, or shake a musical toy. Incorporate peek-a-boo moments by hiding behind a blanket or your hands and then popping out with a big smile or a silly sound. Improv Integration:

    Use different voices or pretend to be a playful character during peek-a-boo, saying things like, "Peek-a-boo! I'm a friendly monster! Boo!"

    3-5 years

    • Storytelling with Props & Word Ball:

    Activity: Provide children with a box of dress-up clothes and props like hats, scarves, and stuffed animals. Encourage them to create and act out their own stories using the props. Sit in a circle and play Word Ball, where each person adds a word to create a collaborative story.

    Improv Integration: Use the props as inspiration for the Word Ball story. For example, if someone says "princess," the next person might add "castle" or "dragon" to continue the story.

    • Imaginative Play & Story Chain:

    Activity: Set up a dramatic play area with a pretend kitchen, doctor's office, or spaceship. Encourage children to use their imagination to role-play different scenarios. Afterward, initiate a Story Chain activity where each child adds a sentence to create a shared story.

    Improv Integration: Encourage children to improvise dialogue and actions during imaginative play, then continue the improvisation during the Story Chain activity by building on each other's ideas.

    6-9 years:

    • Improvisational Games & One-Word Story:

    Activity: Introduce children to improv games like "Yes, and..." where they build on each other's ideas to create spontaneous scenes. Afterward, play One-Word Story, where each participant adds one word to create a collective story.

    Improv Integration: Use the principles of "Yes, and..." during the One-Word Story, accepting and building upon each word contributed by the participants to create a cohesive narrative.

    • Creative Writing Prompts & Character Switch:

    Activity: Provide children with creative writing prompts or story starters to inspire their imagination. After they've written their stories or poems, engage in a Character Switch game where each child improvises a short scene in character based on their writing.

    Improv Integration: Encourage children to embody their characters fully during the improvisation, using their imagination to interact with other characters and create a dynamic scene.