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The Playful Parent, by Julia Deering - Extract

The Playful Parent, by Julia Deering - Extract

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The Playful Parent offers a new solution for parents and carers looking for a calmer, happier and smarter way to parent the under-fives. This activity-led parenting guide shows how to get young children involved and learning, thinking and growing, helping and cooperating without any need for ‘the naughty step’ or punishment at all, but by making play the beating heart of family life. Julia Deering offers support and advice to busy parents, combining down-to-earth practicality with hundreds of simple activities, tips, tricks and fixes, guidance, prompts and brilliant ideas that show parents how to tap into their child's playful instincts.
The Playful Parent offers a new solution for parents and carers looking for a calmer, happier and smarter way to parent the under-fives. This activity-led parenting guide shows how to get young children involved and learning, thinking and growing, helping and cooperating without any need for ‘the naughty step’ or punishment at all, but by making play the beating heart of family life. Julia Deering offers support and advice to busy parents, combining down-to-earth practicality with hundreds of simple activities, tips, tricks and fixes, guidance, prompts and brilliant ideas that show parents how to tap into their child's playful instincts.

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Published by: HarperCollinsPublishersUK on Jul 17, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/11/2014

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The Playful Parent
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I   S  O 
functional gardening equipment at the ready – perhaps stored in a crate or on a low shelf nearby, so your little one can water the flowers and weed when they like.
Let them look and be captivated
Hang a few old CDs to the branches of a tree. When they turn and twist in the breeze they’ll catch the light and the eye of your child. On sunny days you may even spot the rainbows they create, which is quite mesmerising for young children.
Temporary invitations to play outside
When deliberately setting up temporary invitations to play, remem-ber you are just setting up something for them to discover themselves; to initially entice them and get them started. They’ll surprise you with where they take the play and all the different ways in which they’ll participate. You can set these up when your little one is nap-ping or otherwise engaged in independent play.
Let them play inside outside
Invite them to play with some of their inside toys outside, should the weather suit:
 Arrange their favourite construction toy invitingly on a rug or play mat – blocks, Lego, stickle bricks and the like. These have a different feel and appeal if played with in the garden, and different things may well be constructed.
 Set up one of their small-world toys outside – somewhere not too muddy. A dolls’ house, toy garage, train track or a homemade play scene along with figures and accoutrements will have a different feel and appeal when in an unexpected location.
 
Invitations to Play
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 Small toy animals or figures will have a whale of a time outside. Add some natural materials like straw, rocks, grass or water in a small container on a tray, or a container plant, as an exciting and different environment for the adventure.
 Bring out the dress-up box and, if possible, a mirror, for some warm-weather costume changes. Your little one may want to put on a show, or just immerse themselves in some imaginary play in costume.
 Set out some of their toy instruments and a few soft toys who might want to get involved in an outdoor concert.
Let them play somewhere new 
 Make a sun canopy or cloth den and add some books to create a temporary inviting quiet place, or some boxes, further cloth pieces and a few plastic containers and bottles to help transform it into something altogether different – a car, a spaceship or a submarine may well appear.
 Set out the picnic blanket, some favourite soft toys or dolls, a toy tea set or some plastic cups and plates from the kitchen, with some leaves and grass and so on for ‘food’.
 Let them create their own new place to play. For example, fill a beach bag with everything you can find around your home that might contribute to creating a let’s-pretend visit to the beach. It could contain a beach towel, some shells, a nearly empty suncream bottle, a sun hat, some sunglasses, some toy sea creatures, a net, some pebbles, an umbrella, a bucket and spade, an inflatable water-ring and their swimming costume (if it’s summer). If you have a paddling pool out or you have a sandbox, then either or both of these might feature in the creation of their beach. Then again, they might make something else altogether.
Let them play at being someone new 
 Bury a few plastic dinosaurs or pieces of plastic tea set in the sandbox, or transfer some sand or soil to a washing-up-bowl-sized container so

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