As a mom, I’m always looking for creative ways to encourage my kids in role play fun. One of my favorite things to do is to step back and watch my kids’ imaginations soar as they dive into the world of make believe. LeapFrog® has so many cool and interactive toys that enhance their role play fun, while also engaging them in educational learning at the same time! It’s a win, win for parents!
TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO PLAY
Wait – don’t my kids already know how to play? Why do I have to teach them? Yes. Of course, kids can figure out how to play on their own. But with role play, I find that kids learn best by observing our everyday tasks, as well as by watching examples of how a toy can be used.
For example, let’s get down on the ground, crisscross apple sauce style, and take turns shopping with the LeapFrog® Count-Along Basket & Scanner™. Line up the grocery items and take turns scanning each item on the shopping list before placing it in our basket. I love the playful songs that the scanner sings as it teaches counting, colors and more.
I find that by playing along with my kids, they learn how to role play appropriately, which reduces the chance of them tossing toys around or dumping them out and moving on to the next thing. (SPOILER ALERT - you don’t’ have to play with them EVERY TIME, but we’ll get to that later.)
WORK SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH ROLE PLAY
Another way to enhance your little one’s role play is to “work” side-by-side in a fun role play task! For instance, grab out the LeapFrog® Choppin' Fun Learning Pot™ while you’re working on dinner prep. Levi loves to help me cook and bake, but he’s not quite ready for real knives. So instead, I can get him involved by setting up his very own cutting board, cuttable play foods, and play chef knife. He can watch me as I make our family dinner, and cook up a delicious dinner of his own. (I wish my pot responded with encouraging phrases like his does as we add veggies to our pots!)
Levi also LOVES the LeapFrog® Pick Up & Count Vacuum™. This smart vacuum toy picks up 10 play dust pieces as kids roll the vacuum over them. I gave Levi the task of vacuuming the dust bites in his room while I tackled the rest of the house. He’s entertained by the three play modes that teach colors, numbers and counting while mom’s getting things done too!
TAKE A STEP BACK AND WATCH YOUR CHILD’S IMAGINATION SOAR
Okay, remember when I said you don’t have to play with your kids every time? It’s true! Get your child started but once they get the hang of it, step back and watch as they take their role play to a whole new level all on their own. Roll out the LeapFrog® Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart™, set out a few furry friends, and watch your child pretend to run their own ice cream cart. They can follow the included order card instructions or come up with their own tasty treat combinations. (This is when I sneak away to enjoy another cup of coffee or get my own work done!)
DON’T FORGET TO ROTATE TOYS OR CHANGE THEIR LOCATION
By rotating toys or simply changing their location, I find that my kids are newly inspired when it comes to their role play. Suddenly, the LeapFrog® Count-Along Basket & Scanner™ turns into a shopping trip for a camping adventure outside. The LeapFrog® Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart™ is now the favorite vendor at the local fair. Or the LeapFrog® Choppin' Fun Learning Pot™ is now a chef’s favorite cookware piece at a local farm-to-table restaurant!
Sarah is the owner and blogger of SUGAR MAPLE notes – a lifestyle blog about home, family and motherhood. She’s a mom of two imaginative kiddos, Levi and Evelyn. Grab a cup of coffee because Sarah is sure to have one in her hands and come feel at home with her and her family as they make everyday moments into something special!