Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reading and Imaginative Play

You probably know by now that at our house, reading, creativity, and imagination take top priority.  In order to teach my daughter how to take the knowledge and inspiration she gets from books and apply it to her life, I've started creating "Book Baskets".  On our weekly trips to the library, we'll often come up with a theme for the books.  Dinosaurs, bugs, mermaids are all fair game.  Then we look for books, fiction and non-fiction, that incorporate that theme.  When we get home, I put all the books in a basket and help my daughter hunt for toys that also apply to that theme and those go in the basket too.  I'll also occasionally go online and print out some coloring sheets.  The basket is then used throughout the week.  One day, my daughter might just feel like reading her books about the ocean, but the next day she may have an undersea adventure with the stuffed toys in the basket, inspired by a story she read in one of the books.  Another day, she might be a marine biologist, using her non-fiction ocean books for information and inspiration.

The great things about Book Baskets is that they don't have to cost any money.  You can use books from the public library or even the books on your child's shelf and we all know you can find some toys to match in your child's room!  They may even rediscover something that haven't played with in awhile or find a new use for an old toy.

Here are some themed basket ideas:

Butterfly Basket
Ocean Basket
  • Non-fiction books about the ocean
  • Fiction books about the ocean
  • Stuffed animal toys
  • Blow-up pool toys.  You would be amazed by how these can be used indoors!  The carpet easily becomes the ocean.
  • Put it all in a laundry basket that can be used as a boat.
Bird Basket
  • Non-fiction and fictional books about birds
  • Stuffed birds
  • Binoculars
  • Bird call whistles
  • Bird nests (you can buy these at the craft store)
  • Birdhouses
Now all you have to do is leave the basket in a place your child can access and watch their imagination go wild.  Have fun!

If you have a minute, leave a comment and tell me what themed Book Baskets you would put together.