Let's Play

Children's Health

It’s time for adventure – at the zoo or at home!

What is play?

Play is any activity in which children share creative experiences while having fun.

What is Parkview doing to promote play?

Parkview is partnering with the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo to take you and your family on an adventure. Take time to challenge your imagination, be creative and play! When you’re at the zoo, remember the power of play:

  • Give your children the power to create their own games and rules and limit your adult input unless their activity or behavior is unsafe.

  • Suggest they take a safari walk. When they get to an animal’s exhibit, have them say the animal’s name, make the sound it makes and try to walk like the animal.

  • Ask questions

    • Where does this animal live?
    • What does the animal eat?
    • How does the animal exercise?

How can I encourage my child to play at home?

After you return home from your zoo adventure, keep encouraging your kids to play! We’ve got some ideas to get you started:

  • Invite friends over, go to libraries and neighborhood parks, or visit cousins. Children learn new skills by watching other children, too.

  • Use music for movement or musical games. Be sure to use toys and instruments for added fun!

  • Play does not have to be full of action. Help build your child’s imagination by drawing, building with blocks, or being creative with water, clay, sand, sound or movement.

  • Act it out. Encourage make-believe play and give your children dress-up clothes, hats and scarves. Join in and help your children expand on their ideas.

  • Let your children create an environment with a large cardboard box – it can be a bear cave, a barn for farm animals, a fort or ​anything.

  • Paint with water on the side walk, or make footprints by stepping in the water and then the sidewalk. Don’t forget the sidewalk chalk.

  • Have a “car wash” with buckets of water and all sizes of brushes and sponges to wash bicycles, wagons and other toys.

  • Play with bubbles outside.

  • Make a bubble painting. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of tempera paint and combine it with your bubble mixture. Then, using a straw, blow bubbles into the mixture until they come to the top. Next, have your child gently lay paper over it to create to take a print. Then, remove and allow it to dry.

  • Play “Stop and Go” with a paper plate. One side is colored or painted red, and the other is painted or colored green. When the sign is green, have children do crazy movements of any kind.  Children can call out an action or activity, i.e. blow in the wind like a tree, or be a monkey. When the red sign is held up, stop and be a statue.

  • Suggest kids play “Simon Says” or “Mother May I.”

  • Create a safe environment in your kitchen. Let the bottom drawer be full of plastic dishes, wooden spoons and pots and pans, so children and stack, bang or shake them.

  • Involve your child in daily tasks, while they are young and eager to mimic what you do.  ​​


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