Chalk: Great for Imaginative and Open Ended Play

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Recently, I decided to get the kiddos outside. I got the girls their bikes out so they could burn off some energy and on my way out the door, grabbed our bucket of chalk to keep The Boy busy and (hopefully) out of their way.

I sat with him and we drew as Ellie and Kahlei zipped up and down the driveway, racing each other and both ‘winning’ every time they go back to the garage. I marveled in my little almost 17 month old and how he loved to draw, how he loved to carefully choose which colour he would use and when I looked up to check on my racers I saw a road before me.

Ellie had grabbed two pieces of chalk, one in each hand and run them down the drive and then had added white lines to make it more realistic.

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Then, she and Kahlei took turns to ride down the road. Both winning, still and have a wonderful time. I was called on from time to time to either be a red light or to remove the Jasper Giant, which threatened the road with dreaded Giant Drawings not to mention stamping and giggling.

All three had a blast. Kahlei would ‘drop herself off’ at the garage and come draw with me for awhile before ‘picking herself up’ and riding back down the road.

I was surprised by their ability to stay between the lines as they rode, no matter how fast.

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While I know children are eternally resourceful and amazingly imaginative I still manage to be surprised when something like this happens. I had no foresight past wearing the girls out and keeping The Boy out of the way and with that they created a game which kept them entertained, worked their bodies and their creativity and even had them taking turns of their own free will!

Once I figure out exactly what Jasper has done with our bucket of chalk (he was using it as a handbag) I intend to explore this further, taking other toys out and just seeing what happens, watching their imaginations spark.

I will choose toys which they are playing with daily  sometimes and other times I will bring back toys they have left for awhile
Things such as;

* Barbies
* Little People
* Wooden Blocks
* My Little Ponies
* Bowling Pins
* Cars

And, I love the idea of adding natural elements for them to include in their play, just placing things that might interest them and work with their play.
So far, I plan to collect;

* Sticks
* Pebbles
* Various Leaves
* Flowers

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I am sure that once they realise what I’m doing, Ellie and Kahlei will bring some ideas of what they would like to incorporate, but for now I want to keep it fresh and uninhibited. Unencumbered by any pressures or expectations and most importantly, natural.

Want to give this little ‘activity’ a go? Grab one of your child’s favourite toys, some chalk and get outside. Don’t go with any particular thoughts on how you want the time to unfold, that always leads to disappointment (in my experience) and simply enjoy the time, seeing where things lead.

I highly recommend it.


Linking up with It’s Playtime


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