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How to Encourage Curiosity and Independence in Your Preschooler

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Entertainment One and Scholastic. All ideas and opinions are my own.

My 4-year-old daughter, Abigail, is a ball of energy from the moment she wakes up. Running, dancing and playing dress up, are just a few of her favorite playtime activities. As long as she’s active and trying something new, she’s a happy camper. I find her curiosity and desire to explore refreshing. In fact, most days she persuades me to step away from my long to-do list and join in on the fun.

I admit that for many years I didn’t prioritize playtime. Yes, we weaved it into our day when we could, but as a busy mom, I was more focused on meeting my child’s basic needs. When I learned about the many benefits of playtime, I knew that not only was it beneficial for my child, it was also necessary.

Why is playtime important?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, playtime allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and dexterity, along with their physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Playtime is also important to healthy brain development and allows children to create and explore the world around them.

How can you spark your child’s curiosity and encourage independence?

Physical Play

Physical play is a great way to develop a healthy body as well as a healthy mind. My preschooler is constantly on the move so physical play is what she gravitates towards the most. Playing at the local playground allows her to release energy while developing her social skills. Even a simple game of tag, which enables our entire family to join in, can provide hours of fun. Not only does my preschooler gain confidence each time she “tags” someone, she also gets to have fun and socialize with her peers.

Discovery Play

Discovery play is a great way to encourage your preschooler to explore the world around them. My preschooler enjoys going on scavenger hunts, creating sensory boxes and playing outdoors. Now that the weather is warming up we’re incorporating a lot more outdoor activities and having fun exploring nature. Right now, she’s really enjoying the game “I Spy” since it gives her the opportunity to discover new things.

Imaginative Play

Imaginative play is my personal favorite because I get to see my preschooler’s personality and imagination shine. Like most preschoolers, she’s really into playing dress-up and role-playing. From princesses to superheroes, like Owlette from the PJ Masks show, she’s having a blast playing a variety of roles. If you need some ideas to help you spark your child’s imagination, check out this article with five playtime activity ideas, including a Moon Dance activity featuring music from PJ Masks!

For more family fun, you can also check out the Mission to the Moon sweepstakes!  A new space-themed trivia question will be posted on the Scholastic Parent Facebook page every day for 30 days from July 1 to July 30, 2018. You will be invited to solve the puzzle with your children and enter your responses on the Scholastic sweepstakes website. You will be entered for a chance to win a trip to New York for a family of four to visit New York City’s science museums! Runners-up will receive age-appropriate Scholastic books and space-themed toys. Learn more about the Sweepstakes and how to enter by visiting scholastic.com/pjmasksmission.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 US & DC. 18+ with at least one child who is currently 12 years of age or younger at the time of entry. Void where prohibited. Click through for Official Rules.

What are some of your preschooler’s favorite playtime activities? I’d love to hear from you!

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