Supporting the Back to School Transition through Play
August 23, 2022 · By Anne Gillyard
Nuggeteers are heading back to school, and with that transition comes many changes to their day-to-day schedule. What can caregivers do to support their physical and emotional well-being during this time? We teamed up with our friends at grOH! playrooms for a guest post on how to support this transition time – and, spoiler alert, it's all about play!
Exploring the Day through Imaginative Play
Imagination and creative play invites kiddos to process and even replay the events that they observe and experience throughout their day. They have the opportunity to practice new vocabulary and language in their imaginary context. Unfortunately, not every school has time or space during the day to encourage imaginative play. So if your kiddo is an actor or storyteller, setting up your Nugget like a table can be just the right invitation to play! Your kids could play tea party, restaurant, or anything else they come up with.
It's a Small World After All
Building and small world play is a quiet form of play that engages kiddos through the engineering and storytelling parts of their brains. These two types of play often overlap and can be really exciting for kiddos who like telling stories.Kids build a structure and use animals, dolls, or cars to create a small world to play with. In this invitation to play, incorporate blocks to challenge your builder to create a tower that is as tall as the Nugget; or incorporate roads and cars through, around, or climbing atop the Nugget!
No More Sitting Still
Gross motor play helps kiddos release their physical energy and learn how their bodies exist in space. Kiddos crave different types of gross motor play – it could be heavy lifting, big movement like jumping, or the pressure that comes from crashing into the Nugget! One particular thing we love at grOH! that is incredible for gross motor development is...you guessed it: The Nugget! Invite play for kiddos who need extra movement after school to create an obstacle course, beat the clock setting up a Nugget tower, or build a homework fort.