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Old 05-03-2008, 12:09 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

I'm pretty annoyed w/myself. DD is almost 2.5 yrs old and I have bought and bought and bougt toys. She is reciving speach therapy and her therapist said I needed to limit her choices so she communicates more and isn't so overwhelmed. This makes since to me b/c we have a ridiculous amount of toys. Most are fisher price type toys and little people. A lot of them light up. Now that I've spent a ton of $ on toys she could really "give a hoot" about I'm seeing that she's more into coloring, painting and pretend play, all of which (in my opinion) foster more immagination. I want to expand on her interest but I don't really know how. I grew up w/all the kinds of toys I bought for her and I loved them but she's a different kid than I was and she likes different things than I did. I naturally bought what I thought she'd like. I was thinking of getting a play stand. She loves play silks and dress up and sorting stuff. Please help me w/any ideas you may have. I don't have a ton of money to spend but I'm willing to buy some stuff. We just moved into our house and I have at least 6 boxes full of almost brand new fisher type plastic light up (ish) toys that she could care less about. I want her bedroom to be a play she enjoys and has room to move about in. Sure I could put a shelf in there and pack it w/all her toys but I guarantee she won't even give them a second look. She will be in her drawer putting her baby legs on her hands pretending they are gloves. Thanks so much for your help in advance.

**Also we live in Fairbanks Ak and are limited in our options locally. I would love to find a carpenter that could make a play stand for me. That would be pretty cool.

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

My almost 3 yo dd also has a ton of plastic toys she ignores - mostly bought by family members. What she will play with are - play dishes and food, dress up stuff, blocks, stuffed animals, and baby dolls. I'd go to the thrift store and buy some big clothes for dress up - sparkly things, flow-y things, and a bunch of wide ribbon, maybe some cheapo costume jewelery. You can also pick up a few plates and pots at the thrift store. Then I'd get some wooden blocks, maybe some play-doh and cookie cutters.

As for getting rid of unwanted stuff, I have dd go through her room every now and then and choose some toys she wants to give to "the babies" - which means donate to kids without toys. We always do that before birthdays and christmas, and every couple of months in between.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

Don't over htink.. She is at a great age to have "tea parties" and that is an oppurtunity to incorporate manners, and social skills into imaginary play. I use to mix baby cereal with food coloring cover the floor with a trash bag, and let them paint. Then have her tell you all about it. Nature walks are great too. When we moved to Washington we started a rock collection, that we periodically added too. this provides an oppurtunity to discuss shape and texture. Ask question like "what does the rock look like" "how does it feel". I walked into the house one day and my husband and children were playing safari, and would take turns hiding stuffed animals...while the other waited in the tent, and chatted a little song. Blocks are one of my favorite toys, talking about the different shapes, and colors,as well as a counting, sorting, and pattern oppurtunities. Those are a few off the top of my head. MAGNETS, letters and numbers, use an old cookie sheet as a magnet board. and just start talking about it. Hope these ideas help.
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:21 PM   #4
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

Well, for one, you could sell a lot of those toys on craigslist to help fund anything else.

Definitely hit the thrift stores and yard sale -- anything a little one could dress up in or play house with would be good. Save toilet paper and paper towel rolls and let her decorate them to make a telescope or her own magic wand. Do you have a Joanns up there? If so, check out the kids crafts section there for ideas.

Does Blueberry Baby have toys? I've not been up to Fairbanks yet, so am not sure what you have (I live down in Wasilla). If you are ever down this way, we have a wonderful imaginative play store here.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

thank you so much. Please keep the ideas coming.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:38 PM   #6
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter as well. Her favorite things are baby dolls, a play kitchen and play food/dishes, a dollhouse and Legos. We get lots of pretending done with those things.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

Thanks for starting this thread! I have a 3.5 yr old son who has had a bajillion plastic toys and way too much clutter in the house. Despite all of my mother's warnings that I'm going to crazy at yard sales, I've only recently realized that we are seriously lacking in the imaginative play department (both my son and myself!). I'm in the process of selling/passing on a lot of the toys in our house and replacing them with some more natural, wood and hopefully imaginative play type stuff. But I'm still lacking on imagination! Trying to change things around for both my son and my 10mos daughter. All my son seems to want to do is play with anything with wheels. But that seems to be getting boring for him lately and i think we're both at a lack for things to do. we'll try more art stuff and we don't have a play kitchen...Anyway - more ideas are seriously appreciated here too!!
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:47 PM   #8
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

We painted one wall of our hallway with chalkboard paint. We used magnetic paint as the primer, so it's a chalkboard they can stick magnets to! My DS is 4.5 and DD is 16 mos and this is what gets the most use in our house. They love "decorating" the wall for special occasions or for special visitors. I second the thrift store idea. We buy lots of "vintage" clothes--you know, the funky stuff from the seventies that are crazy colors and patterns--for them to dress up in. They also love simple hand puppets. One of our next projects is building them a simple puppet theater. Oh, and our big box of hats--now THAT is entertaining for EVERYONE!! There's nothing funnier than a little one in a big cowboy hat dancing around the room!
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #9
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

My DD has sensory integration and we do "play" therop at home everyday. I bought a small plastic tub and I fill it with beans or pudding or shaving cream and let her go to town. I change the object daily and she loves to play in it as well as my 3 y/o! Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: Need imaginative play ideas. PLEASE

Was just thinking about some good things we Do do. On days I didn't want to clean up a potentially big mess, I used to stick paper to the walls of our shower and let him paint naked in the tub. One hand holding a paper plate as his "palette" and one with his honking big brush. It was SOO cute. Afterwards he could take the shower head (on a rope) and hose down the inside since we had shower doors. We replaced the tub and surround and now have a shower curtain and haven't done it since! Guess we should go back to that just without the hose down afterwards!
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