Games and play ideas


​​Construction games for creativity

As with all creative experiences, children benefit from the experience of doing, rather than the end result of  a ‘work of art’. Experimenting with a variety of materials lets them learn to represent their ideas, be imaginative and creative.

Collage: be part of it

Making collages allows kids to explore colour, texture, line and shape as they bring their ideas to life. You can support your child’s creative experimentation by talking with them about their work. Draw attention to the lines, colours, shapes, textures and patterns they are creating, and ask them to tell you how it makes them feel, or what it is they are making.

Remember, they may not always be representing an actual object or creating a picture of something, sometimes arts and crafts is just about experimenting with materials and designs.

Encourage your child to explore different ways to glue items onto their collage. Maybe they can leave part unstuck, or paste in lines or blocks. Your child may use only two or three items for their collage or they may well fill an entire sheet with overlapping materials.

Make sure you provide an appropriate glue to suit the materials; PVA glue or a mixture of PVA and commercial or homemade paste are ideal.

Get started by covering the table and floor with an old shower curtain or newspaper:

  • Wear an apron or old shirt to protect clothes.
  • Put glue in a pot/container and provide a small brush.
  • Teach your child to always wipe the brush on the side of the pot before gluing.
  • Separate collage materials in clear bags or containers and stack them in a large box for storage.

Collecting materials for collagesChild playing with colourfully painted cardboard fish cut outs

  • Old wrapping paper (tissue, cellophane, printed).
  • Natural materials (leaves, flowers, bark, feathers).
  • Straws, glitter, patty pans, cotton wool, ice-block sticks, streamers.
  • Variety of paper, card, cloth.
  • Bottle tops, buttons, foil.
  • Stapler, sticky tape, hole punch, PVA glue.

Building with boxes

This activity gives kids the chance to explore scientific and mathematical concepts as they use boxes and other materials to build 3D structures. 

Kids love construction as it gives them the chance to develop skills for problem solving, investigating, applying and reflecting on learning, they:

  • think through their ideas and work until they’re satisfied with the results
  • make decisions on which pieces they need and how to decorate them
  • solve problems.

Let them think outside the …

If box construction is new to your child, give them plenty of time to explore, experiment and try out their fresh ideas. Kids love to get creative, and often prefer experimenting with design and technique as they go, rather than planning from the beginning to make a particular thing.

Packing up

Encourage your child to clean up and tidy away at the end of the activity. This is important as it will help your child to take responsibility for their things and learn responsibility. Check out some tips for making packing up easy here.

Family and friends games and play ideas

Playing games and interacting with family and friends teaches your child social skills needed to build positive relationships and work well with others.

Here are some game ideas to help your child learn as they play.

Family balance races

What you will need: a bean bag for each family member (you can make your own by filling a bag with rice or beans).

What to do: have each family member line up and place the bags on their head. Have one person yell ‘Ready, set, go!’, and each member must walk to the finish line while balancing the bag on their head.

Family obstacle course

What you will need: obstacles such as chairs, rope, boxes and tables.

What to do: set up the course with your child and work with them to decide the race route and actions to pass each obstacle. Complete the course one at a time, encouraging each family member.

Pretend bakery shop

What you will need: playdough, a table and two players.

What to do: players will share the playdough and make different items for their shop (bread, cakes, apples, etc.). They work together to fill the table, then one person can be the ‘shop keeper’ and the other can be the ‘customer’. The players can continue to make new things and switch roles.

Last updated 05 September 2023