Room Weaving

January 19th, 2010 by Dionna | 10 Comments
Posted in Children, Eclectic Learning, Preschoolers, Toddlers

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I have been reading a book by Mary Ann Kohl called Making Make-Believe. It has over 100 unique ideas for helping foster creative and dramatic play.

The author explains why dramatic play is important for children’s development. Here are some of the ways that making make-believe benefits kids:

1) Cognitive – children solve problems like who gets to be the wolf, or what to use as a prop for a magic wand. Language develops as children use sentences and phrases to direct the pretending and communicate with each other. Children may also learn to understand symbolic thinking such as mime or using imaginary props.

2) Emotional – pretending is the perfect time for children to express emotions and to learn to be in control of their own play. It is a time to work through stressful or happy occasions. It is a time to let fantasy and reality blend without the worry of which is which.

3) Social – playing and pretending with others is a time to learn how to get along, share roles, cooperate, and work through problems. Role-playing is a chance for children to “try on” the roles of people in their lives, like a baby sister, parent, or teacher, or roles from their imaginations, like dinosaurs and firefighters.

4) Creative – creativity blossoms and grows through pretending and dramatic play. The children use their imaginations to steer play, to control it with rules and guides, and to make use of props and accessories in new and wonderful ways. And only they have the power to undo, redo, or create their play situations.

5) Physical – all of the many things children do as part of their play will help develop fine and large motor skills, which will later help them do things like cut with scissors, hold a pencil, jump rope, or write their names. (1)

I am so excited to try some of the ideas with Kieran. Here is one that looks particularly fun:

Room Weaving

*Tie any smaller pieces of string & yarn together to make one long strand. Roll into a ball. To begin room weaving, tie one end of the string/yarn to a doorknob, closet rod, bedpost, or chair leg. Take the string from one object to another, tying or wrapping around furniture or objects to hold it in place. String can crisscross itself and go all around the room like a web. Now weave and tie strings in between the first strings. A plan is not necessary, just keep tying and weaving strings to strings. When the web is done, imagine and play in the room weaving. Pretend the room weaving is an imaginary world, a spider web, a thick jungle, an underground cave. You could also add sheets/blankets to create little forts.

I think these dudes need a little help from a 3 year old.

Once we try this activity, I’ll be sure to post pictures of our own room weaving.

What are your toddler’s or preschooler’s favorite make-believe activities?

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(1) Kohn, Mary Ann, “Making Make-Believe: Fun Props, Costumes, and Creative Play Ideas,” at 10 (1999). “Room weaving” is found on page 21.

10 Responses to:
"Room Weaving"

  1. Recovering Procrastinator   jenwestpfahl

    My kids like to act out parts of movies and like to pretend to do everyday things like play store, garage sale, restaurant, doctor, house. And they are always saying they are somebody other than themselves, whether another family member or a movie character or an animal or just a random name.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Kieran’s not quite at the level your kids are, but we are playing “store” and we do make our trains/puppets/dolls talk during play. Someday!

  2. Amber   AmberStrocel

    My kids do room weaving, or something very much like it, with my yarn. The difference is that it’s not usually a pre-approved activity. Let me tell you, finding all your precious yarn ‘woven’ around the house is not much fun. Maybe I should stick to fort-building for play, less baggage for me. ;)

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Poor woman – I have managed to keep my yarn put up thus far. I did, however, knit Kieran a beautiful scarf that has just disappeared. He wore it once – when it was done I tried it on him. And now it’s gone :( Heartbreaking!

  3. Heather   xakana

    Lilly does this on her own with cords she gathers from around the room and the doorknob.

  4. Melodie   bfmom

    What an incredibly fun-sounding idea! Totally something I will try this week, especially since I’m sick and can’t play with them too much right now.

  5. Acacia

    Definitely going to try this one with Everett. He is just getting into imaginative play- pretending to go to someone’s house, go to the store, etc. And he loves to tell stories, which I think is imaginative play in some form. Maybe…. I should help him act out the stories he comes up with! That would be fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

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