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How do you encourage creative play in older children? Is it important? If so, why?

(30 Posts)
FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 00:51:24

It's occured to me that, apart from Lego, ds (aged 10), does very little and looking back, he has never done alot and I don't know how this has hampered his development. He now plays with warhammer, is there anything else we can do at home though so I we can have fun? I was thinking of doing a play with him?? I need some ideas as I'm stuck.

TIA smile

Clary Sat 22-Aug-09 00:59:02

Does he write stories or plays or music?

how about a big project - DD and DS2 cooked up a plan to do a show of some kind for the NSPCC and are invite the neighbours - made tickets and a collecting tin etc etc.

Keep a holiday diary - can be as compelx and detailed as you like.

Hama beads? we love those. Or how about something reaally tricky like a model aircraft kit?

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 01:02:44

no, no stories, he does have some great ideas though and I let him use my laptop, no plays, he used to plat the piano but not for ages. I doubt he'd go for a holiday diary, I have tried and failed many times, the same with the airfix. He does make lego models though, not always ones on the box IFYKWIM. I'd like a silly, creative day tomorrow, not drawing pictures or painting though.

You should go to bed clary grin

Clary Sat 22-Aug-09 01:06:00

grin zzzzzz

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 01:06:53


mathanxiety Sat 22-Aug-09 04:07:25

Lego and other blocks are fab. Some kids love building and some hate it. I'd say if your DC makes something up that's not on the box he's pretty creative and I would encourage that.

iceagethree Sat 22-Aug-09 04:49:40

why don't you have a morning in b and q or homebase with him, nice grown up feeling doing this

see if there's any cheap "real" stuff he could do

he is old enough to bang nails etc under supervision (or isn't he? is my judgement off?)

is there anything simple you "need" in the house eg a letter rack, phone holder etc, you could buy basic bits and he could put together or paint up?

is there anything that needs painting, shed, outside door, where you can let him have a go and it doesn't really matter if it's wonky?

have you a sewing machine? can he try this?

choosing seeds and gardening?

preparing a camp and campfire for sleeping out on sat night?

do these count? sorry if i've got the wrong end of the stick

moondog Sat 22-Aug-09 06:38:00

It goes like this.

1.) Put tv off

2.) leave well alone

3.) Boredom is the most conducive route to imaginative play. Helped often (not always) by company of ther kids.

Smithagain Sat 22-Aug-09 11:08:01

iceagethree said: "he is old enough to bang nails etc under supervision (or isn't he? is my judgement off?) "

I hope so. My 4 and 7 yo have just helped DH make a bird table, including banging nails in!!! The 4yo didn't actually manage to make the nails go in, but we did let her use the hammer, with very careful supervision. The 7yo did some proper nailing, and is very proud of "her" birdtable, that the birds are now beginning to use!

Is there any "real" project that your DS could get into, Fluffy? DIY is creative, and much more rewarding than endless stories and paintings that mum doesn't actually want to keep forever anyway.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 11:41:19

Oh, a bird table sounds like a great idea. He likes animals. smile

Thankyou all.

Smithagain Sat 22-Aug-09 14:25:20

smile Glad to be of service.

And when it's made, you can get into making fat balls, bird cake etc. Cooking also being a good, creative activity!

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 18:40:01

That really does sound great. Thankyou, he has a tool kit already, a kiddy one so not too sharp, this would be fun for him. smile

roisin Sat 22-Aug-09 19:09:15

By "creative" do you mean:
a) making something - a product or a piece of artwork, or
b) imaginative play.

If b) I think Lego and warhammer can be very creative.
I don't think a) is necessarily better than b. And neither is essential.

ds1 is extremely imaginative and creative - draws wacky pictures and writes stories (and reads a lot). But he doesn't "make things".

ds2 is always taking things apart and making stuff, and is a whizz with a soldering iron. But he tends to just follow instructions very accurately, rather than be creative.

Neither is 'better', it's just different. Like the difference between an architect and an engineer I guess?

seeker Sat 22-Aug-09 19:15:46

He's old enough for real tools - kiddy ones will just frustrate him because they won't do what he wants them to do. Get him some real ones - remembering that the worst he can do is bash his thumb with the hammer.

MayorNaze Sat 22-Aug-09 19:20:39

what moondog said

i wouldn't worry. ds is about as creative as a...erm non-creative thing...he likes lego and making models and tbh i always thought that was quite creative? does he like to read?

GodzillasBumcheek Sat 22-Aug-09 19:21:18

Unless he tries a DIY crucifixion, in which case i'd take the tools away again quick sharp.

seeker Sat 22-Aug-09 19:22:02

Depends on who he's crucifying, Godzilla.......

chichichien Sat 22-Aug-09 19:24:24

warhammer is about as creativ e as it gets, no?

vinblanc Sat 22-Aug-09 19:26:22

Ignore them, don't run after them, cut screen time, and they will become creative.

Smithagain Sat 22-Aug-09 19:49:42

Agree with Seeker. If you do the bird table or similar, let him use proper tools. He's much more likely to be safe with a heavy hammer and sharp nails, than with a kid's hammer and blunt nails that don't go in properly and end up shooting out sideways.

DD1, aged 7 and very skinny, has handled a proper, grown up hammer without any incident so far. Supervised, obviously, but allowed to do it herself.

peanutbutterkid Sat 22-Aug-09 19:59:03

Go to the beach.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sat 22-Aug-09 21:18:48

We are too far from the beach, landlocked here me lovies sad

It occured to me that I was up to all sorts when I was his age, I used to dress up in my mum's clothes and act out twelth night blush. I can't ever remember him doing any role play. He has become quite attached to warhammer and the bloody ds (which is limited), there must be more 'boy stuff' he can do. His 'tools' are quite sharp. He asked to help with the ironing last week and found that fun hmm. I took him to a climbing wall this afternoon which was interesting. I don't know alot about 'boy stuff', he doesn't like football/sport, he's caring about animals and has a hamster to look after, warhammer, reading, I can't help thinking I'm missing something though. I thought is was creative play (doing play's, making up music/songs etc), but my idea of creative play is very different to what he's actually doing.

Thankyou for the ideas and putting it into perspective. smile

He'd enjoy making a bird table though.

seeker Sun 23-Aug-09 08:11:11

I do think this is one of the ways in which, generally, boys and girls are different. My dd did all the stuff I think of as creative - dressing up, acting out plays, making stuff, drawing, cooking - the whole works. Still does to a lesser extent at 13.

Ds is very different. He will be creative as a means to an end. For example, if he wanted a bird table he would make one. Dd would have wanted to make a bird table and decided what to do with it when it was finished. Does that make sense? Last week dd and I felt like making something so we made some candles. Ds only wanted to join in when I said "Would you like to make a candle to give Auntie Sharon for her birthday?"

Creativity as a means to an end rather than as an end in itself.

Sorry for rambling - I'm fascinated by this sort of stuff.

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sun 23-Aug-09 18:36:28

smile There's such a difference though, I used to quite like dressing up, I still do! blush He's a really caring boy, great with animals so it would be nice to do something like this but there's no where around here. I'd like a rabbit for him but we have no space, cats and dogs are a problem as I am allergic.

Littlefish Sun 23-Aug-09 18:47:44

Problem solving's what you need! Set him a challenge with a couple of guidelines - e.g. make a bird table which will hold at least 8 birds at once and two different types of bird food.

The ability to examine a problem, plan and create a solution is incredibly creative.

If you are limited on space, resources etc. it can be as simple as giving him 3 sheets of paper, some sellotape and some scissors and asking him to make himself something to wear which can be taken on and off in two different ways.

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