Unleash the power of play

As parents, we know about the importance of child play.

And with the coronavirus lockdown, play at home has never been more important.

We are always on the lookout for some fun play activities to do with the kids at home (because there is only so much playdough and painting that you can do!).

Calvin and Kaison’s Play Power is a new show on Nickelodeon that focuses on the importance of play.For its launch, Nickelodeon teamed up with play expert Cat Sewell to promote activities related to the show that you can do at home with the kids.Here are Cat’s play activities…

MAKE A CALVIN CAR

Find a large cardboard box or a basket/drawer and add circles to the side for wheels and a circle up front for the steering wheel. Use crayons or markers to draw headlights. Then watch an episode of Calvin and Kaison’s Play Power while sitting in your own Calvin Car!

What you need

  • Large cardboard box or basket
  • Scissors
  • Extra cardboard to make shapes
  • Glue
  • Markers or crayons

How to do it

You’ll need a cardboard box a or basket/drawer that is big enough for your child to sit inside. Cut out cardboard circles to stick to the side as wheels. Use a plastic plate or a circle of cardboard as a steering wheel. Add decorations and details with markers or crayons.

Benefits for child development and learning

  • Fine motor skills developed through cutting with scissors and drawing shapes
  • Pretend play assists with social and communication skills, as well as role playing real life scenarios
  • Sense of joy and connection in spending time with family to create an object together. Once made, this play car can provide hours of fun for children.
  • Symbolic play helps children develop imagination and creativity and boosts brain development

ULTIMATE HERO

Who is an everyday hero in your life? Draw a picture of your favourite person and tell someone why they are your hero. Now it’s time to make your own Super Play Power Hero cape! Write your name on the top, and add pictures and words about what everyday hero traits you have. Use the below list to help you get started. Pin your cape on, get active and show us your moves as a Super Play Power Hero!

How to do it

Have a discussion with your child about who they see as a hero in their life. Share ideas on the people who you see as having super powers in the community. Tell your child about what makes them a Super child – what skills, traits or deeds do they do that you love?

Ask your child to draw a picture of their favourite person. Have them and tell that person why they are a hero.

Ask your child what their super play power hero name would be.

Find a piece of fabric approximately 1m x 1m in a light colour (you could use an old bed sheet or scarf). Trim it into a triangle shape with a flat top.

Write the child’s superhero name at the top with a permanent marker

Draw or write words, pictures or symbols of their super hero traits onto the fabric. Use the below list as a handy guide.

Pin the shorter edge of the cape to the child’s shirt using safety pins and watch them transform into a super play power hero! Encourage physical activity and exploration.

What you need

  • Paper and pencils or crayons
  • Permanent markers (supervised by an adult)
  • Light coloured fabric 1m x 1m
  • 2 safety pins
List of words and symbols to prompt everyday hero traits: Super helper, Super speed, Super kindness, super strength, super cleaner, super imagination, super creativity, super thinker, super problem solver, super builder, super protector, super fixer, super snuggler, super smiler, super cook, super sleeper, super flexibility, super carer

Benefits for child development and learning

  • Empathy and understanding is grown through discussions of what makes people super
  • Communication skills developed through discussions and sharing stories with others
  • Fine motor skills developed through drawing, writing and colouring
  • Imagination and role play developed through embodying the super hero character
  • Children gain confidence and positive feedback from families who recognise their skills, strengths and attitudes
  • Active bodies improve fitness, strength, coordination, balance and agility
PLAY DOUGH ROBOTS

Make a batch of colourful homemade play dough and see if you can build a robot. Your robot could be friends with Robo G! Try rolling the dough into balls or blobs, or pressing it into shapes like squares or triangles. Add everyday kitchen objects like cups, containers or utensils to make your robot even bigger.

EVERY DAY PLAY

Add a sense of play and playfulness to your everyday routines at home. Sing a song as you set the table, add bubbles or a scent like lavender to the bath, set up a hair salon for kids to style each other’s hair, jump and skip on your walk outside, give tickles and cuddles as your children change into pyjamas, or let the children help and dig in the garden.

Every day is a day for play. When you bring play into your everyday life, you also bring smiles, release tensions, increase physical activity and provide much needed social connection. Remember, children are the experts at play, so follow their lead and let’s unleash the play power!

And if you are wondering who Calvin and Kaison are, here is a clip of their new show!