Plus creative ideas to try to help baby’s brain development and to practice mindfulness
Moms like me can attest that choosing toys for our kids is not that simple.
Sure, it’s all about fun and entertainment for them, but for us, we want something that’s educational and helps them become more creative.
When it comes to choosing toys, I’ve learned that the latest or expensive doesn’t always mean best.
In fact, there’s a simple toy that is not only stimulating and educational but also well-loved and enjoyed by kids of all gender and ages for its versatility.
Here comes play silks. These are pieces of cloth dyed in bright colors and come in different sizes and beautiful designs.
It is made of light fabric that’s easy to store and transport (great for fighting boredom in road trips).
Play silks are well-known for being a staple in Montessori households because they can be used in different ways and encourage open-ended play.
But aside from it being an all-around fun toy, like most Montessori toys, it helps foster your child’s cognitive skills and development.
Key Takeaway: Battery-powered toys are hugely popular, just because something is popular, however, does not mean it’s a good choice.
Below are some reasons to include play silk in your child’s play time.
Helps boost baby’s brain development
Montessori toys, like play silk, promote sensory play, which is very important in your child’s brain development.
By stimulating your baby’s senses, the brain develops neural connections that help him process and retain information.
Here are some ways to play with play silk for your little ones:
- For small babies, you can use these fabrics to create a beautiful mobile (with string and small balls) that you can hang above his crib. To make it more realistic, a sky pattern will do the trick.
- Hang the it on your child’s play gym and let him explore its texture as his hands try to grasp and reach for it.
- Develop baby’s language by talking to him and describing the different colors and patterns of the silk. Why not try a Rainbow pattern for a variety of vibrant colors.
- Play peek-a-boo. Babies love that.
- Put the it on a box with a small opening (such as wipes or tissue box) and let the baby pull out the fabric, and guess what color comes out next.
- You can also put them inside a small box, cover it with rubber bands and let your child practice pulling it out to sharpen his fine motor skills.
- Hide small toys like wooden blocks or felt balls in the silk and help your child unwrap them and discover the hidden toy. He can also practice inserting the fabric through wooden rings.
- Play color matching. Grab some toys with different colors and match it with the colors found on the silk.
Key Takeaway: Play silks helps a child to be creative and explore the world on their own.
Teaches mindfulness even in young age
Elaborate electronic toys offer too many distractions making it hard for children to concentrate.
Simple toys like play silk promote mindfulness by encouraging the child to be present and immersed in the activity while being aware of his surroundings.
It teaches them to control their emotions and focus on what’s happening in the present.
Below are few mindfulness activities you can start introducing to your child:
- Seeing the world from a different point of view. Most play silks are lightweight and transparent, so you can hold them in front of your child’s face and let him look around. Ask him how he feels when everything he sees is red, yellow, etc.
- When outdoors, let your child grip the silk tightly as the wind tries to blow it away. Observe where the fabric goes, how high or how strong the wind is blowing it. You can also try this when you roll the windows down in the backseat of your car. Our unicorn design has such a pretty pattern.
- Throw it up in the air like a parachute and just watch it fall to the ground. Use our Fairies pattern and see those enchanted creatures fly in the air.
- Assign an emotion for each color of the play silk that you have and ask your child to pick the color that describes how he is feeling, or use our Rainbow play silk to practice expressing different emotions.
Key Takeaway: One of the best ways to enjoy play silk is adding it to mindfulness activities.
Play silk is the best tool for imaginative play
Imaginative play is essential in childhood development.
Some of its benefits include developing cognitive skills, practices communication skills and social interaction, boosts executive function skills (such as planning, working memory and self-regulation) and promotes a child’s creativity, self-confidence and independence.
Imaginative or pretend play allows children to explore different worlds, personalities, ideas and emotions in a safe and relaxed setting.
Among all Montessori toys, play silks are the most used tool in imaginative play because of its open-ended quality.
Key Takeaway: Imaginative play promotes language and social skills. Boost it more with play silk activities.
Here are some ways to use play silk in pretend play:
- Dress-up – Whether your story requires a superhero cape, a mermaid’s tail, a baby carrier or a pirate scarf, your play silks’ got you covered.
- No wigs for a princess-themed play? Your play silks can do the trick. Use three and braid them together for long, Rapunzel-like locks.
- Props for storytelling – Bring out those multipurpose fabrics if you need a night sky (our Astronauts play silk has a beautiful pattern resembling this) or a treehouse to add more life to your story.
- Using your unicorn play silk, curl up like a cocoon then dramatically spread your arms as you transform into a beautiful butterfly or even an enchanting fairy. butterfly.
- Pretend laundry day – pretend to wash the play silk in a pretend sink and hang them using wooden clothespins to sharpen your child’s fine motor skills.
- Give your sleeping blankets a break and use play silk instead to build forts together. It’s also a good way for your child to practice tying knots and bows.
- Bring the fun on the water and let the mermaid or bubblegum play silk float on the beach or swimming pool.
- Some play silks also come with fun prints and patterns like mermaids, fairies, dinosaurs and astronauts. You can tell make up engaging stories about the designs on the fabrics. You can put your animal figurines on top of our dinosaur play silk for a jungle-themed adventure.
- For play kitchen – use it as a picnic blanket for tea parties, or if you have those mini play silks, use our cotton candy play silk for pretend spaghetti sauce and green and yellow for soup.
Keep encouraging your child’s imagination and create fun memories while playing together.
Whatever form of activity your child prefers, using play silk can help you add more color and texture to play time.
Remember, there is no right and wrong way of playing with these fabrics.
Just handle it with care and these toys will keep your child company for many years.