While every day is a great day to focus on the relationships we have with our children, ‘everyday life’ often gets in our way. But acknowledging this gives us the opportunity to search for time to relax and enjoy with our children.
Pretend play can be beneficial for both kid and adults. Play can add joy to your life, relieve stress, and fuel your imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. This means putting away your phone and shutting off the notifications for a while to zero in on your child. It means taking away their devices and turning off the screens so you can make something out of nothing and have fun doing it.
Here in Nogginsland we believe that childhood is a time to play, to learn, and to grow. Children need to pretend and create, explore and enjoy. “When we get older we tend to lose that excitement for life. Adults just accept that imaginative play is something kids do and forget how much they enjoyed it themselves when they were young”. But it doesn’t need to take a lot of planning, time, or money to foster a creative environment for you and your child. A quick and easy way to kick things off is to incorporate Noggins into your pretend play with your kids. Noggins offer endless ways to tap into your creativity and stretch your imagination!
As you start your pretend play have your child choose their favorite Noggin and give them a name. Maybe you’ll end up meeting Fluffy Face the Cat or Mr. Mud the Pig! Have fun with this – it helps to take the imaginative play to the next level and you could end up having a lot of laughs with your kids as you hear the silly names they come up with.
Next, pick one of the many fun activities that Nogginsland has to offer and let your imaginations run wild!
Paper Airplane Activity
Found here, our Noggins Paper Airplanes will really let your imaginations take flight! Follow the included instructions, using your Noggins along each step of the way, to decorate and assemble your paper airplanes. As you’re doing this, start a dialogue that prompts your child to think creatively. Ask your child: Where would you go if you could fly on a Noggins airplane? What would you do if you could reach out and touch the clouds? Do you think it’s more fun to be the pilot, the flight attendant, or the passenger, and why? If you could build your own airplane, what would it look like?
Once your airplanes are ready to fly, create destinations around the house for your planes to visit. This means trying to make each destination as authentic as possible. Have fun with it! Maybe the bathroom becomes the beach – have any beach chairs or sand toys in the garage? Bring them in! Has the kitchen transformed into the Appalachian Mountains?? Line the kitchen counters with pots, pans, and bowls of different heights and sizes to create mountains and valleys! You and your kids can get as creative as you’d like!
Take your Noggins on a creature adventure as you make them come to life with our Animal Activity Set! This activity will have you and your child coloring, cutting, and folding to assemble a body for your favorite Noggin. This is another activity that allows both you and your child to explore the depths of your imaginations. Will you decorate your Noggin’s body realistically, brown fur for the brown bear and green scales for the green dragon? Or will you get creative and give your pink pig polka-dots or create a multi-colored mutt?
Once your Noggins have met their super cool new body, they’re ready to start exploring the world around them! Start a dialogue between your Noggin animals. What might they say to one another? What kind of questions might they ask each other? What do you think they’d like to do together? Get chatty and have fun! Your child may even surprise you with the ideas they’re able to come up with.
Let Noggins can take center stage and star in their very own theatrical debut! With you and your child as the writer, set designer, and director, of course!
Try to let your child lead the way. They may take this little imaginative play idea to an entirely different level… one you never thought of yourself! It’s always fun to see how they interpret certain ideas and run with them. Your job as a parent is to plant a seed and watch it grow.
Activities like these will not only help your children work on their fine motor skills and stir their creativity, but they will also bring you closer as you spend time together. You can use this time to reconnect after a busy day amid the hustle and bustle of daily life or to enjoy some time unplugged together on a lazy weekend morning. Plus, it’s fun to be a kid sometimes, isn’t it? Having imaginative play time with your kids is a win-win all around!
Brought to you by: NOGGINSLAND
Written by: Kristina Cappetta & Jamie Schmalenberger
Designed by: Jamie Schmalenberger
My name is John Haber. I’m a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the founder of Nogginsland. I became a COTA in 2003, and then went back to school much later, receiving my Master’s Degree in OT from Mercy College in New York in 2016.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a variety of populations in different settings, from school districts, to developmental disability centers, to children’s hospitals.