Play is the foundation of early learning and development. Children grow and learn through play as they develop their physical, cognitive and social and emotional skills. And they need play now more than ever, It offers respite and is a wonderful tool for coping with stress. This holiday season give your child the gift of play with presents and experiences that promote family connection, physical activity and imaginative play.
At the Glazer Children’s Museum, we are noticing an interesting trend during this pandemic. By spending more time together, families seem to have shifted the way they play and communicate. We are seeing more interactive family play and the benefits that go along with it. When parents play with their children, it deepens the family connection and enhances the early childhood learning and development that is quietly happening beneath the surface. Here are some gifts that promote family play.
- Board games for family game night
- Yard games like croquet and corn hole for outdoor fun
- Books for family story time
- Equipment for family adventures like camping gear or bird watching binoculars
- Annual membership to an interactive museum like the Glazer Children’s Museum for a whole year of discovery
Exercise is vitally important for kids, and play is the best way for them to get moving. At the Glazer Children’s Museum, our exhibits help develop fine and gross motor skills, from building blocks in Engineer’s Workshop to the Water’s Journey climber. Physical play allows kids to explore boundaries and discover what their bodies can do. Here are some gifts that promote physical play.
- A bike, scooter or roller skates to get them up and moving
- Sports equipment like a soccer ball or tennis racket to practice new skills
- Classic toys like a jump rope or hacky sack that will entertain them for hours
- A slack line to practice balance and risk taking
- Annual membership to a hands-on museum like the Glazer Children’s Museum, or any play place that gets your child excited to move
Imaginative play is one of the most beneficial tools for any child, leading to a lifetime of innovation and creativity. At the Glazer Children’s Museum, we witness imaginative play every day. Children can try on the different roles of hospital workers in the St. Joseph’s Children’ Hospital exhibit, put on a show in the Little Stars Theater, tend crops in the Farm and more. Allow your child’s imagination to run wild with these gifts that promote imaginative play.
- Costumes that transport them to new worlds
- Toy tools for little helpers with big imaginations
- Doctor or vet equipment for nurturing compassion
- Blocks and other tinkering toys for design-thinking and invention
- Art supplies for expressing creativity
- A journal for writing imaginative stories
- An annual membership to any cultural attraction that promotes creativity and imagination