The other day I was sitting at a park with 2 friends while our children played in the kids play area. There was only one other mom in the park and she came up to the 3 of us and asked us how we got our kids to be so creative with how they play. She couldn't believe how our kids were playing so creatively. And then she commented on how unusual it is that they were older children (not just preschoolers) and playing dramatic play. As you can imagine, it just made my day. To hear someone notice, admire and comment on such a thing. We all thanked her for the comment and visited a few moments and mentioned that our children have spent a bit of time together.
Later I asked Tristen what they were playing and she told me all about it. This was an unusual park (no swings or play equipment), just lots of dirt, one slide (mounted on a dirt hill), a water source, a cabin, and a tee pee. She told me that they were playing farmer. This was the first time we had gone to that play area, I always thought it was for younger kids, and yet my 11 year old had just as much fun as a 4 year old. Making mud, pretending to be Laura from Little House, running around while someone was pretending to be a bear and chase her.
I love it that they didn't feel like they were too old to play. No one said it was for babies. No one squelched their creative play. In fact, they spurred each other on to be more creative as they worked as a group.
I wonder what makes some kids more creative in their play than others. My two have used dramatic play as the main source of their entertainment. (one of my favorite posts and sweet pictures HERE) Forget the toys and video games. Give them a pile of stuffed animals and some linking cube blocks and you might just find an orchestra. Here are their webkins playing instruments. They showed me each animal and what instrument they are playing and the sheet music they made for them to follow. Talk about creative play.