Children have the foundation of their personality shaped by the play, exploration and learning they undertake before their third birthday.
These formative years develop the essential communication, creative and technical skills they will carry throughout their lives.
Popular event The World’s Biggest Playgroup, returns to Sydney this month for a day of fun and creativity aimed at babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their parents, carers and friends. This year, Playgroup partner LEGO® DUPLO® brings to life an ‘Imagination Station’ – an interactive space to explore the power of imagination and creative play.
To warm up for the big day out, they have compiled a “bucket list for babies”. A checklist for kids and parents alike, this listicle summarises the joys and challenges little ones face in their early years.
1. Experience things for the first time via taste. This will be hit and miss.
2. Identify colours. So much fun can be had when you know the difference between red, blue, yellow and green.
3. Discover the joys of real language. Let’s be honest, mispronouncing the word “Kookabugga” is a riot for kids and parents alike.
4. Make a friend. Two heads are better than one, and playtime creativity multiplies when toddlers get together.
5. Go nappy-less. No nappy can be a strange experience but you’ll quickly get used to the feeling of pooing and weeing anywhere you like (your parents aren’t great fans of this one).
6. Go through the tortuous experience called ‘first tooth’.
7. Learn that the first tooth is followed by a new sensation called “toothpaste”. Discover that unlike most other things that go in the mouth, this one is meant to be spit out.
8. Discover how blocks fit together. The little colourful squares that Mum and Dad remember from their own childhoods actually fit together to make other, bigger things.
9. Learn to create. Now you’ve mastered fitting bricks together, your imagination is blossoming. Your first creation is likely to be a ‘brick wall’.
10. Now that you’re building things, try your hand at a tower. Once it’s finished, be sure to knock it down immediately.
11. Pretend. Now your imagination is switched on, you can be anything you want to be, including a pirate, a ballerina, a banana, an elephant, a mum, a dad or, a mumdad.
12. Become an adventurer. You can climb on wobbly stools, press buttons you’re told not to, hide in off-limit rooms and spin around in circles until you feel sick.
13. Relay basic information about yourself. Soon enough you’ll be only too eager to tell anyone who’ll listen your full name and how old you are.
14. Discover the highs and lows of food. You won’t want to eat the green thing, but you can’t just eat chicken nuggets (sorry).
15. Learn the art of manipulation. If you want something – be it a cuddle, a biscuit, or a new toy, smile and don’t scream. Reserve the screams for when the smiles don’t work.
16. Make an imaginary friend. This person can be anything you want and play with you anytime, even in your sleep!
17. Learn the thrill of hide and seek. Nothing is more exciting than racing to find a hiding spot and the thrill of getting found!
18. Ask questions. If in doubt, just ask anyone anything, anytime, all the time.
19. Explore. Your bedroom, backyard or mum’s bathroom could be hiding a million secret adventures and its up to you to discover them all.
20. Be frightened. Loud noises, grandma, big kids or the bath might scare you and you won’t like it. But listen to mum when she says its ok, because it is.
21. Find a favourite book. Even if Mum and Dad keep suggesting new books, stick to your guns.
22. Get creative with your fashion. If you want to dress up like Batman or Elsa, do it!
23. Go to school. If Mum and Dad both work you might get to go to school every day.
24. Learn why volume is important. Try singing really, really loudly at the supermarket, and watch the reaction of the adults around you.
25. Hone your negotiation skills. If mum says it’s bedtime, insist that it’s not. Keep this up for as long as possible until one of you gives up and admits defeat.
26. Discover that anything can be a toy if you want it to be. Your bed, the cat, a toilet roll and even wrapping paper can keep you entertained for hours.
27. Make people laugh. You will feel happy too when you realise you have the power to make people happy!
28. Draw something. Drawing is a way to exercise your imagination.
29. Embrace being clean! Bath time is a great chance to be creative. Whilst Mum is washing your hair, you can fight an army of sea monsters as Captain Bubbleblaster.
30. Make an attempt at getting airborne. You might need to start jumping with one leg at a time, but you’ll get there!
31. Learn to share your toys with others. Parents are really big on this.
32. Tell stories. Playtime is even more fun when you let adults know the ins and outs of every single character, scenario and situation you have in your head.
33. Have fun at every single opportunity. Play, pretend, create, explore and discover the world around you.
Image source: supplied.