In the Kirkpatrick household, “imaginative play” has been a focus during all the extra time at home while schools are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imaginative play, according to learning4kids.net, is “essentially when children are role playing and are acting out various experiences they may have had or something that is of some interest to them. They are experimenting with decision making on how to behave and are also practicing their social skills. Children learn from experience — from what happens around them, from what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch. To absorb those experiences and make sense of the world, they need to be engaged in imaginary play.”
This type of play can be as various as a child’s imagination and can include, but is not limited to, playing dress-up, playing house and pretending to be in a specific role such as a parent, teacher, career professional, etc.
“Imaginative play can serve as a valuable educational tool and can complement traditional instruction. It’s so important to keep a positive attitude and encourage creativity with your children during this time,” wrote Tiffeny Kirkpatrick in an email to the Record-Herald.
Tiffeny and Brock Kirkpatrick’s 9-year-old son, Zeller, is a third grader in the Miami Trace Local School District. Not only have they been taking part in imaginative play, but Brock works with Zeller on math while Tiffeny helps him with other subjects.
“We are fortunate to live in a community where our children are top priority, regardless of the school district they attend,” wrote Tiffeny. “Honestly, I can’t thank the educators enough for all that they do for the children in our community.”
”Each day I check my email and Zeller’s teachers, Mrs. Stum and Mrs. Ater, have sent me new educational links and additional resources to utilize at home,” she explained. “I think the one-on-one lessons we are doing at home have really helped Zeller. Homeschooling allows more time to focus on areas of concern.”
Needing to home-school has required their typical evening schedule to alter, as both Tiffeny and Brock are considered essential employees and are still working, according to Tiffeny.
“Once the daily school work is finished, Zeller heads outside,” wrote Tiffeny. “Zeller could shoot basketball all night long if we would let him. He passes time by riding his dirt bike, shooting basketball, throwing/hitting a baseball with his Dad and taking care of his new 4-H pigs.”
According to Tiffeny, when Zeller was asked about a positive change during this time for his family, Zeller’s reply was, “It has given me more time to spend with my mom and dad.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.