Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fun, Creative Play Ideas #PlayDohPlayDates

Play-Dates Halloween

In this age of technology and hurried lifestyle, I feel all too often our children do not have the opportunity to play enough.  Play is critcal in a child’s development, both cognitively, emotionally, and intellectually.  In fact, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights feels so stronly about play that they have deemed it as a right of every child. (

I think the best kind of play is creative play, where the play is directed by the child.  Creative play allows for thinking outside the box and fosters solutions to problems that others may not see.  Creative thinking children become creative thinking adults who create innovations that change our world and find solutions to some of the greatest problems.

So many children are passively entertained with video games as opposed to real, creative play.  Many of these children are completely lost and bored without their video games or televisions.  They have no idea what to do with themselves.  They have difficulty thinking outside the box and coming up with alternative solutions to problems. 

Fortunately, my girls came well equiped with the creative play gene and I have encouraged free play.  They can actually amuse themeslves with rocks for hours on end.  Or sticks.  Or acorns.  I have even seen them play games with blades of grass. 

Creative play is a natural ability that children are born with, however, if it is not nurtured, they will lose it.  If you are looking for a great way to encourage creative play, think about Playdoh.  Playdoh in the hands of children is immediate fun.  There are so many possibilies of things to do with Playdoh.  If you are short of ideas, check out Hasbro’s Play-Doh Play-Dates website, where you can find all sorts of fun things to do, both with and without Playdoh.  They have some great craft ideas as well as simple fun, snack ideas.  With great ideas such as Haunted House (complete with masks) to Pizza Shoppe (adorable little pizza boxes to print and hold your Playdoh Pizza), what adult child could resist? (Okay, the cat is out of the bag, I am a kid at heart.)

Here is some background information on the Play-Doh Play-Dates web site as sent to me by SocialMoms:

  • You and your children will enjoy virtually endless hours of imaginative play with fun and engaging PLAY-DOH Play-Date ideas.  (After visiting the site, I wholeheartedly agree!)
  • Each theme includes step-by-step instructions to create PLAY-DOH Fresh Ideas, printable crafts, and healthy snacks to help you host the perfect PLAY-DOH Play-Date!
We visited the site and my girls wanted to “do them all” but they eventually agreed on the Ice Cream Shoppe.  First, printed off hats, name tags, order pads and waffle cones.  Then, the girls took turns being customer or ice cream shoppe employee.  You should have heard the fun they had!  They loved taking orders from each other and making the ice cream treats.

But of course, PlayDoh being what it is, the possibilities were endless.  While making ice cream treats, they began making vegetables and came up with an awesome dish of carrots and peas!

The Hasbro Play-Doh Play-Dates website is AWESOME!  This is my new favorite fun site!  We found so many ideas.   In addition to the play date ideas, there are printable play mats for your kids to add to the picture with their PlayDoh creations.  I really liked some of the party ideas.  I had never thought of a PlayDoh Party before, but what a great idea!  Your kids will love the online games to play. They even have some very creative ideas for reusing PlayDoh cans and you know I am all about reusing and recycling!  And for those of you who are homeschooling (like myself) or are a teacher, they have many great suggestions for incorporating PlayDoh into your lesson plans to make learning easier and more fun.  Just make sure you scroll down the webpage so you don't miss a thing!

Disclosure: This post is part of a SocialMoms product evaluation, for which I’ve been selected. I’ve been compensated for my time with 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SocialMoms or Play-Doh.

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