Invitation to play is when kids or adult set up an area and once it is set up it becomes a visual opportunity to create play.
What are some of your play ideas with the pieces?
There are specific things like creating an obstacle course, practising balancing which helps core strength, life-sized Jenga pulling pieces off the stack. Creating visual statues and then drawing them. Using the pieces in less obvious ways is also great as it enables learning through play. Using the pieces for yoga or as a very gentle rocker with my newborn.
The play pieces become a make-over for the other play items and highlights every other toy we have. For instance, I set-up a library with the play pieces where I put a book on each shape. The kids come and they see the books and they sit and engage with them. Everything old becomes new again as it takes away a “structured” learning scenario at a desk and chair, which can improve both the children’s and adult’s interest level.
Kids seem to play less as they grow. What is the importance of play at different ages?
There needs to be more play. We play through our whole lives but play obviously changes. Having physical objects, rather than screens is key. In these covid times when anxiety is rising in children, play is more important than ever. The boundaries of play may change but as adults and through teen years play enables an endorphin release which is connected to overall wellness.