CREATIVE PLAY - Besides enjoying themselves children learn through play. It helps to improve coordination and encourages them to use their imagination
There is tremendous satisfaction in being creative, whether it is in concocting a successful meal or writing a poem, but to do this we need confidence in our own judgement. We are more likely to have this inward reassurance if, as children, we were encouraged to explore and experiment without undue interference from adults.
There are many ways in which you can stimulate your child's creative and imaginative powers but if you live in a limited space it is more difficult to ensure that your child has the freedom he or she needs.
Splashing in the bath or a paddling pool, floating boats or emptying and filling containers with water is a good way of giving a small child this freedom.
Another is playing with sand, either in your own garden or a nearby park.
Painting is another way of encouraging creativity and a feeling of freedom, even in a confined space. A three-year old will enjoy splashing bright colours onto large sheets of paper. Protect his clothes with a smock and your floor with plenty of newspaper and let him experiment. It may seem dull to you if he covers sheet after sheet with green blobs but he is learning. When he is ready he will choose a different colour or try for a different effect, but do not interfere, the essence of creative play is that it is something that a child does in his own way, at his own pace. Once he starts trying to please you rather than himself the creative urge is lost.
The best toys for encouraging creative play are those which leave room for imagination. Dolls and cuddly toys can be comforters or a character in a game. Building blocks improve dexterity and can serve as pretend shopping or be used to create castles and bridges.
Often the best props for creative play cost nothing. Cardboard boxes can be transformed by an imaginative child into a house or a train, similarly a few cast-off clothes for dressing up can lead to hours of imaginative play. Children often get more fun and satisfaction from inventing their own toys than from expensive shop-bought toys, which are often discarded when the novelty wears off.
Taken from The Marshall Cavendish A Z GUIDE IN WEEKLY PARTS - DOCTORS ANSWERS PART 96, Live better naturally Creative play.