Snowed In? Try These Imaginative Games and Activities for Preschoolers

The winter is a challenging time to keep kids entertained because if the weather is bad, there’s not much to do outside. Here are some great pretend activities that you can do inside on a snowy day, from the book “Let’s Play and Learn Together.” Theses games are designed to stimulate the imagination and help your child develop new creative and cognitive skills.

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Preschool pretending becomes more elaborate. As children mature and their language skills increase, their imaginative themes are richer and their stories longer and more complex.

Let’s Take a Taxi

Place two chairs side by side and pretend you are the taxi driver. Ask your child where to go, giving suggestions if needed. Talk about the thinks you pretend to see along the way and what you will do when you get there. Put chairs in a line so you can drive a train or pretend you are on an airplane.

♦ Encourages creative expression

Cleanup Time Can Wait

You don’t always have to clean everything up. Find spaces in your home where your child can build freely without having to clean everything up at the end of the day. This encourages your child to build more complex creations and facilitates imaginative play.

♦ Supports creative expression and a sense of pride

Act It Out

Give your child a series of instructions, such as “Can you hop like a rabbit?” “Can you walk like a big, heavy elephant?” “Can you slither like a snake?” Try other animals and include things such as plants growing in the ground, a flower opening on a summer day, or a balloon being filled with air.

♦ Develops imaginative thinking

Build Forts and Castles

Help your child create special spaces in which to play. Tents, boxes, blow-up pool rafts, playhouses, cushions, blankets, and sheets can be used to create all kinds of special worlds. This is a perfect activity for your child to do with friends.

♦ Encourages pretend play and social skills

The Great Outdoors—Inside

Stretch your child’s imagination by bringing an outside activity indoors. For example, create a beach using blue towels for the ocean and tan towels for the sand. Your child can make paper fish in the water and help pack a delicious lunch to enjoy on the shore.

♦ Supports role playing and imagination

Build a Brave New World

Playing with Blocks

There are two types of pretend play. The first is where the child is an actor (he takes on a particular role and acts it out), and the second is where the child is the director. In this type of play, your child is the director of a miniature world. He may build the world, make the characters talk, or tell a story about their activities. There are many commercially available play sets and action figures that children can use. Additionally, you can help your child create his own miniature world with blocks, train tracks, cardboard containers, action figures or miniature animals. Combining different play sets stretches your child’s imagination and provides countless opportunities for expanded pretend play.

♦ Fosters imaginative play and creative expression

Let's Play and Learn Together

Playing with your baby is more than fun and games: it’s the key to building a strong relationship with your infant and providing important early stimulation that promotes learning and development. “Let’s Play and Learn Together” provides 100 games, activities, and exercises that parents can do with their baby to foster cognitive, motor, and language skills as well as creativity and relational skills. “Let’s Play and Learn Together” shows parents how they can use daily caregiving routines such as feeding, diapering, dressing, bathing, and bedtime as opportunities for play, positive emotional attachment, and learning. You’ll also find play ideas for each age and stage and for different developmental levels.

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