How to create a fun space that encourages
play-based learning using teepees.
Just before Christmas, I styled a beautiful teepee in my children’s room for Australian brand Cattywampus – a high end maker of luxe teepees for children.
But instead of just looking at how very cool these play tents are, today on the blog I am sharing a few tips of how to style one, while also exploring ways to enhance a child’s learning through play.
ABOUT THE TEEPEES
CATTYWAMPUS TEEPEE FEATURES:
- Made from 100% cotton canvas and high quality timber beech poles.
- A handy pocket for the teddies, books or your child’s favourite treasures.
- A peekaboo window to stay connected to the environment around.
- Rubber stoppers to prevent movement and protect the floors.
- Tie backs for the option of an open play space or a ‘close me up and let me enter my own world of make believe‘.
- Optional personalised teepee name tag.
HOW TO STYLE YOUR CATTYWAMPUS TEEPEE:
- Hang a tassle or garland from the beech timber poles to tie in your existing interior colour scheme.
- Drape a few string lights for some night time story book magic.
- Tie a few honeycomb balls from the timber poles to inject a fun atmosphere.
- Lay a soft rug, mat, sheepskin or comfy throw inside the base for extra comfort.
- Pop in a few throw pillows, soft teddies, books or your child’s favourite toys to encourage play.
The Cattywampus teepee we styled for these images was called ‘GOLD CLOUD‘ but we also REALLY LOVED the simplicity of this teepee design HERE!
CATTYWAMPUS TEEPEES and PLAY BASED LEARNING
USES for PLAY:
Due to their easy to fold and compact design, Cattywampus teepees make the perfect portable play space. The play options are limited only by your imagination.
Some ideas are –
- A chill out zone.
- Pretend or dramatic play area.
- A ‘quiet play’ corner.
- A reading corner.
- A shaded outdoor play area.
- A very cool ‘sleep over tent’ (maybe a special treat to sleep in the room with siblings or mum/dad).
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY:The world of make believe is one of the most beautiful aspects of early childhood.Click To Tweet
I love using play tents in children’s rooms as they create an instant dramatic play zone that can easily be modified and transported to diffferent areas of the home. Zones that encourage dramatic or pretend play can help scaffold all kinds of play based learning in children.
Some of these play benefits can include –
- Developing imagination and creativity.
- Encouraging children to speak and engage in conversation with others.
- Developing conversation skills. HINT: Use the play interactions as an incidental opportunity to model, encourage and remind your child about basic listening and speaking skills. For example, looking at a person’s eyes when you are talking to them and answering someone if they ask you a question.
- Building vocabulary. HINT: WHAT your child is playing with will guide WHAT they are talking about. You can encourage more targeted language by changing play items around – these can be simple household items and toys your child already has. To help build vocabulary talk and interact with your child in a way that supports open conversation, e.g. child – “mummy I’m a dinosaur“, parent – “oh, you are, you’re a little green dinosaur (modelling descriptive language). Are you a friendly or scary dinosaur (encouraging dialogue)? Why? What do you like to eat little dinosaur (using open ended questions)?” etc .
- Stimulating creativity in children – play with your child and model how to use your imagination. Eg – ‘OH NO dinosaur, here comes a big T-rex! Quick, let’s hide in the swamp. Slush, glush, slush, glush’ etc.
When playing with others, it can also enhance children’s pro-social skills such as –
- Conflict resolution and negotiation.
- Learning to share and take turns.
- Respect for others choices and opinions.
- Being considerate of others.
- Learning how to ‘engage in play’ as your child moves throughout the stages of solitary play (playing by themselves) then to parallel play (playing next to but not with another) and finally towards dramatic and cooperative play (playing with another).
- Building bonds and friendships with parents and siblings.
If your child does not have anyone to play with –
- Play with your child and use it as an opportunity to teach them how to share. For example, if your child has their favourite toy in the teepee, model how to take turns.
- Talk about what you can do if someone takes your toy away from you.
- Talk about what you could do or say to stop feeling sad or angry.
- Do a little role reversal and take turns being the ‘snatcher’ then role play the correct way to ask someone if you can play with something.
For more inspiring ways to style your child’s teepee and stimulate the imagination, you can check out the entire CATTYWAMPUS range HERE!
To check out the entire range available by CATTYWAMPUS you can click HERE.
Happy playing and thanks for stopping by,
love ness X