Tool toy is one of boys favorite toy. Boys usually pretend to be a builder when they play the toy. Here is one of the tool toy which can make children pretending as a shipwright(someone who builds and fixes ship) on a pirate ship. This theme will add more fun to the play and in the end will give benefit for children.
To make children excited and play as the theme, we should join the play. It’s easy to do. Be a pirate character and just pretend that we’re on a pirate ship. Create a conversation which involves our children on the play. Here’s an example:
Captain (Adult): Ahoy! I’m the Captain of the ‘Brave Ship’. Now, we’re going to sail across the seven seas. Are all my pirates ready?
Captain (Adult): All right! Prepare the ship my pirates! I’ll check the ship!
Children: Ayay, Captain!
Captain: Pirate! The board on the deck is loosen. You have to nail it!
Children: Ayay, Captain!
Captain: Look at the live preserver! Hang it on the deck! Use the nut and bolt to make a hanger!
Children: Ayay, Captain!
That’s the example. Create other activities which require the use of the wrench, the saw, the ruler, compass, anchor, and the treasure box. When we give order to children excitedly as a captain, they would do the activities excitedly too. They usually would response or reply what we say as a pirate too and make a lively conversation based on the theme (what they say, may not be the same with the example. Let it be and play along with the characters). We don’t always have to act as the captain too. We can let our children to lead the play and act as a captain. This will bring out their creativity in imagining a situation related with the theme.
Here is the tips to do the pretend play:
- Before playing, set a goal or a title to the play. The title will make us easy to direct the play. For example the play title for the conversation above is the ship checking. With this title, we can create a play which requires children to use all the tools toy. Hence, there is something to be noted. During the play, children may react or bring out idea which is diverted from the title. If it happens, just let it be and play along with our children response.
- Prepare costumes. It’s not a necessity but it will make the play more exciting.
|Pirate Patch||Pirate Head Scarf|
- Create many situations or play titles such as ship on a stormy weather, pirates meet the whales, the leaking ship and many more. Just be creative! By doing it, we can actually add knowledge to children. For example with the ‘ship on a stormy weather’ title, we can tell about what nature shown before a storm is coming such as thunder sound, the glimpse of lightning, the dark clouds and many more. Therefore, before playing, it’s better if we collect the information related with the theme we’re going to play with our children from the right source. It’s very important to do in order to give the right information or knowledge to children.
The proper preparation and the play itself can give lots of benefit for children. The benefits are:
- Vocabularies enhancement related with the tools, the theme and the play title.
- Knowing the function each of the tools by doing the simulation through the pretend play
- Exercising children’s fine motor muscles as they use the tools
- Bring out their imagination, creativity and cognitive skills. It’s because when they act as a character, they have to react/ response of what other character says. To response properly, they have to link the situation in the play with the knowledge they have related with the theme. This requires the three skills above
- Learn about leadership. When they act as captain, they have to be able to lead the other pirates. This won’t be easy to do as in daily life they still get lots of instruction or guidance from adults. Therefore, when they act as captain, they learn to instruct or guide others. This will give new perspective for them and as a way to learn basic leadership.
- Learn to deal with pressure. The title play allows us to create a situation where children have to learn how to deal with pressure, for example as in the ‘ship on the stormy weather’ title. During storm, there are many situations which may happen on the ship such as the loosen board, the fall of the anchor and many more. The situations require immediate attention and problem solving. The act of solving the imaginary urgent situation will make children learn how to deal pressure in an urgent situation. This will be a good simulation and experience for children which will be useful in daily life.
Last, after we play the pretend play with our children, it will be great to ask our children to read book, watch movie or video relate with ship and tools (Though, we can do it before we do the pretend play. This will make children be excited to do the play). All the activities will give many ideas and knowledge. So, the next time they play with their peers or even play alone, we might be surprised with the ideas they bring to the play. When they’ve shown this, it means they have learned and developed their abilities!