Meet our little witch
Miika has always been our witch. Not a wizard, but a witch. He runs off as fast as he could with his broom between his legs, cackling! Seeing him so immersed in fantasy play is really amazing; except for the fact that we, his parents, are the only ones who know what he is doing.
We love our little witch Miika! Miiks uses his witch persona to be social; which is something he is often too shy to do as just Miika. For him, by being a witch he can access characteristics that he feels he isn’t always comfortable with. He can be in control as magic gives him all these cool super powers. He can interact with others without having to put himself out there too much. He can be a little naughty and a little sneaky if he wants to, but he can also be a good witch if it suits him.
It is funny to watch my niece Rachel interact with Miika, the witch. If I try invite her to join in the pretend play with Miiks by asking “are you a princess?” her reply is “Rachel is Rachel!”. It is hard for her to stay in character completely. She constantly feels the need to explain that she is still herself and this is only pretend. Rachel is still at an age where she is discovering her own sense of self. For her, climbing in the skin of another character completely is still a bit scary as she is still learning about who she is in her own skin. Still, Miiks invites the girls into his witch world – Rachel and Wren are often the princesses he captures in his tower!
How we at beebeebox do pretend play
Pretend play is AMAZING for any child, regardless of how your child or your approaches it. Some families buy toys versions of actual items, others DIY pretend items, and then of us some encourage our children to pretend that a thing is more than what they see. Claire and I use all 3 techniques. The kids all love pretending to cook and sell food, so between our families we own a kitchen, a shop and a combination of wooden, felt and plastic food items.
Every now and then we would pop on our DIY hats and create some items using what we have on hand. And then there’s Miika, who has taught us so much in this pretend play area. We now own a variety of play fabrics that has been used to build forts, used as capes and veils, used as kites and flags. I honestly think Miika would be able to entertain himself for a whole day with just one piece of fabric.
Rainbow rings as inspiration to pretend
So to encourage some more pretend play, we created a very simple threading activity that can be recreated in so so many ways to suit your child. Not only was this activity extremely successful visually, our kids learnt a new threading technique in a very fun way. This craft/activity is great for fine motor development, as well as showing your child that you can craft with very few items and craft without making too much of a mess.
What you need:
6 x 2m long ribbons
What you do:
Pre-play parent prep:
- Remove the screw eye from the curtain ring for you, as it could possibly scratch or choke your child. Layout everything you need.
Invite to play:
- Explain to your child what you are going to do: you guys are going to use an awesome threading trick to attach the ribbons to the ring without glue and without actually making a knot. A knot will make your ribbons stand in all different directions, instead of flat and backwards, which is the best for flying.
- We included all the colours of the rainbow to make a rainbow ring. Your child can recreate what we did, or mix the colours up as they wish. RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, don’t forget there’s PURPLE too. Does your child know the colour order of the rainbow?
- We folded our first ribbon (RED) in half and then used the halfway mark as our LOOP. When doing this you are ensuring that the TWO ribbon piece then attached to your ring is similar in length. Don’t worry too much about it as your child could always trim the ribbon pieces the same length afterwards or like the mismatched lengths.
- Show your child how to thread their LOOP through their curtain ring.
- Then show them how if they push their thumb and pointing finger through the loop, it is easier to grab the ribbon ends and pull them through the loop.
- Let your child pull through the rest of both ribbon ends and pull tight.
- Repeat STEPS 3 – 6 with all the ribbons.
- Trim as wanted/required.
- Experiment: Run around, spin around or throw it through the air!
See our Pinterest Board for some more great ideas: