Aim: To encourage the children to use their imagination when playing. Introduction: When children are given the space to make up their own activities and games, they enhance their imagination and creativity, develop organisation skills, learn problem solving and practise leadership. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack Body B-2-9
Lego/ Building blocks/Shoe boxes, cardboard boxes etc.
• Googly eyes
• Red material for tongues
• Bean bags
• Hoola Hoops
• Hockey sticks
• Skipping ropes
Activity 1 - Lego / Building Blocks
Aim: To encourage the children to play freely with the Lego and blocks and to build things for them selves when and how they want.
Get a good selection of Lego and blocks gathered together so that there is enough for the children to make things.
• Lay piles of lego and building blocks and cardboard around the room.
• Create interesting and different areas. Some could be on the floor, others could be on tables. Some could be under tables. If the areas are separate there should be plenty for all the children to engage with.
• Tell the children that you are going to let them play with the Lego and blocks and they can do whatever they like. If they want any help then you are there to help them.
• Put some music on.
• Tell them that when the music stops we will all work together to put the Lego and blocks away.
Tips / Advice:
If you don’t have much Lego use a range of boxes.
Activity 2 - Sock Puppet Creatures
Aim: To encourage the young people to play freely with the materials when and how they want to.
Lay out the craft materials to the side of the room. Have tables with chairs and without — the children can then choose how they approach the craft
• Tell the children that we are going to make creatures today and when we have made them they are going to explore their new habitat.
• Allow the children to choose how they make the puppets.
• Everyone will need a sock
• Have plenty of googly eyes to stick on and some tongues cut out ready that can be stuck or stapled on.
• The children can tuck in a portion of sock to make the mouth.
• Once the children have finished encourage them to take their creatures to explore their new homes.
• The children can walk, crawl, slide or creep around the room
• Let them gather and go off on their own and make their own play.
Tips / Advice:
Once you feel that they have had enough you can end the session. But allow them to come back to you gently. They could come back and sit around for story time and listen to the story with their owners. Potentially have a creature based story so that they can connect their creatures to the story.
Activity 3 - Free Play Time
Aim: To encourage the children to play freely with various sports games when and how they want to.
Get a good selection of sports equipment gathered together so that there is enough for the children to play with.
• Lay the equipment out around the hall.
• Put balls with bats and hoola hoops together.
• Space the equipment out
• Tell the children that this free play time
• They can do whatever they want in this time with the equipment but they must stay safe and keep others safe.
• You could play music while they are playing and when that stops it is a signal that they must come back together as a group.
• You may need to gauge when the majority have had enough and are looking for something more structured.
Tips / Advice:
Try not to get involved except when there might be a safety issue.