A dramatic play activity this month includes practicing to hang clothes on a clothesline. To introduce the activity I read The Hat by Jan Brett. In the story, a young girl hangs her clothing outside to air them out for the start of winter. A hedgehog gets his head stuck in a sock and ends up wearing it as a hat. The other animals see him and want a piece of clothing to keep them warm as well. Each page of the book shows the clothesline with one piece missing. A I read the book I pointed at our clothesline. When the sock falls off I pulled off one of my felt pieces, and on and on through the book.
Jake enjoyed pulling the items off the clothesline. I just cut the shapes of a hat, mittens, and a scarf out of felt. I made two sets (purple and pink) one for each of us. He was excited to try to put the items back onto the clothesline. He did not know how to do it but that did not stop him from trying. I showed him how to squeeze the clips. He gave his best effort but could not squeeze and stick the clothes in. We settled on me squeezing the clip and him sticking the clothes in. I am sure that he will spend more time practicing and eventually master this skill.
I found this activity at Share and Remember. I love this activity and feel it is a perfect example of Structured Play. Jacob has no idea that when we are reading this story and clipping and un-clipping the items that he is learning. He is just playing and having fun! Structured Play is not a preschool or a designated program. It is just playing, with a little planning and preparation before hand. It is something every parent/caregiver can do and the effort does not go unnoticed. You can see results through the skills your child gains very quickly!