Kids love, love, love animals, right? And, playing with animal figures with props and a pretend scenario isn't just fun for kids, it develops their brains, socio-emotional skills, and is a key predictor in future success.
Introduce your kids to play scenes. Set up a play scene, a collection of objects for a fun imaginative play time. Look how Christie from Childhood 101 sets up a tree house play scene. Or this beautiful fairy garden with tiny doors from the blog Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning.
Invent your own play scene. Often I add plastic animals to the sand box and invite my daughters to see what's there – and watch as their imaginations begin to develop play scenarios.
Wouldn't it be fun to set up an African animal play scene? Set out an elephant, ostrich, gnu, gazelle in a small box or tub with some accessories – leaves, rocks, and other small props.
What other play scenes can you imagine?