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Creative preschool pretend



“Mr. Bear, you said you wanted ice cream ON your spaghetti?” says a 5-year old scribbling on a piece of paper at his Little Italy Restaurant. “Maybe some carrots, too?”

Pay close attention when children say “Let’s pretend!” and you’ll discover their joy in practicing life skills that will carry them into adulthood. Imaginative play rules the day in children’s lives. They love their kid-size props, from old hats and clothes to funny items in the junk drawer.

Here’s how you can transform glue, string, paint and other craft items into a menu of play food to satisfy your child’s love of creativity — and Mr. Bear’s appetite! And why not test that creativity on the family too, perhaps on April Fools’ Day?

Cut several 16- inch
lengths of white string for
the “spaghetti.” Squeeze

white glue into a sandwich
bag, drop the string into
the glue, then pull out each
length one by one, clearing off most of the glue
with your fingers. Swirl the
string round and round to
form a mound on a sturdy
plastic or paper plate. Set
aside to dry.
Use a melon baller
to scoop medium-size
spheres from a hunk of Styrofoam. Toss them into another plastic bag containing a couple of tablespoons
of brown acrylic paint and
shake. Poke toothpicks into
the painted “meatballs,”

remove from the bag and
let dry. Or, poke toothpicks
into the Styrofoam balls
and paint with a paintbrush. Remove toothpicks,
then glue meatballs on
“spaghetti” and drizzle a
sauce of 50-50 mixture of
glue and red paint on top.
Let dry.
The spaghetti and meatballs should now be permanently glued to the plate
for pretend play.

Cut green construction
paper or foam sheets into

leaf shapes. Toss “lettuce”
in a plastic bowl with green
pompoms for cucumber
chunks, an elastic ponytail
holder for an onion and a
tan sponge cut into squares
for croutons, and top with
a small red rubber ball
“cherry tomato.”

Use an ice-cream scoop
to scoop soft play clay from
its container for a bowl of
Tip: It’s fun to make
up menus with prices for
children learning how to
read, count money and
make change.
NOTE: Due to small
parts, this activity is for
children ages 4 and up.
Donna Erickson’s awardwinning series “Donna’s
Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find
more of her creative family
recipes and activities, visit
www.donnasday.com and
link to the NEW Donna’s
Day Facebook fan page. Her
latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for

©2017 Donna Erickson
King Features Synd.

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