June 10, 2016 Mary & Suzanne

Theme Play at the Park: Star Wars

Star Wars has been loved for generations. Starting with the movies, branching out to toys, and even DIY light sabers and masks.  Adults and children alike go crazy for all things Star Wars, so why wouldn’t you use its magnetizing powers for good (at the park)?

Here is what we have discovered in our years as occupational therapists, although it isn’t new news! Finding what motivates and inspires a child is magical. It sparks joy at home, and is a game changer in therapy. Weaving theme play into situations that challenge a child, whether it be transitions before bedtime or learning to ride a bike, can fire up an intrinsic drive that carries a child across a difficult finish line.

We decided to round up some so Star Wars themed play that is sure to bring therapeutic park play to the next level with your favorite kiddos! *Heads up! We have links galore here, some of which are affiliate links! By purchasing items through these links you are helping keep our blog up and running!

Star Wars bike helmets

Learning to ride a bike, skateboard or scooter? The R2-D2 helmet and Hero Droid helmet , both found on Amazon.com, are perfect for the Star Wars fans!

What else can you do with a bike helmet at the park?

  • Laying on his belly on a scooterboard, have your child propel himself along a chalk drawn path to get to the Millennium Falcon (a nearby swing).
  • Sitting on his bottom on the scooterboard, scoot along a sidewalk path (using feet) to play an adapted version of this super cute Star Wars Word Run game, created by The Pleasantest Thing!

Death Star Piñata

What hones in on visual tracking and eye hand coordination more than piñata fun? This Death Star piñata is a therapeutic gem, brought to you by freakazeud at imgur.com! Build it at home with the kids to create tactile play, follow step-by-step instructions and work on design copying. Bring it to the park and toss it over monkey bars or a chin up bar – cue the Star Wars theme song and stand back!

DIY Light Sabers

Need light sabers to begin battle? How about DIY light saber pool noodles! Kids Activities Blog shares a simple yet effective design and all you need are some pool noodles, scissors, black duct tape and silver duct tape!

Here’s a handful of other ideas that you and your child can do with pool noodle light sabers!

      • Whack a piñata!
      • Blow bubbles and pop them using your light saber! Who will win the ultimate bubble battle?
      • While swinging on his belly, have your child knock down sticks in the sand, as if they were Storm Troopers lined up for battle
      • Jedi training – while on his belly on a scooterboard, roll a ball toward your child and have him knock it away with his light saber
      • Jedi master training – using a suspended ball hanging from an overhead bar, Yoda (you) calls out an instruction for different levels of master training.  Examples include: Focus tap the suspended ball 5 times in a row as it slowly swings back and forth. Control (and auditory discrimination!)– begin to swing the ball, but only hit it when Yoda says “Jedi”. Battle balance– while balanced on one leg, try to hit the ball 5 times, then switch legs.

Star Wars Folded Flyers

Found on Amazon.com, these paper airplanes are a huge hit at the park! Kids can work on following instructions, eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, visual tracking, motor coordination and projected action sequences while building and chasing these crafts through the sky! (Not to mention a peer magnet for creating social play opportunities!) Climb to the highest point to launch these spacecrafts into orbit, and race across the grass to rescue them from being hijacked by the Dark Side!

Paper Yoda Ears

Can you picture your little Yoda running around the park? This adorable, kid friendly craft (by This Simple Home) is a shoe-in for enticing your child to draw, trace, cut and glue (or staple). What a perfect segway to practicing light saber skills! (aka more eye-hand coordination!)


Light Saber bubble wands

Whether on the Dark Side, a Rebel, or a young Jedi in training, everyone will love that this little light saber let’s you blow bubbles AND lights up! These are found on Amazon.com.

 

 

DIY Light Saber bubble wands

Brought to you by No Time for Flashcards, this DIY version adds your child’s personal touches and creativity. Here’s all you need: empty bubble wand, black duct tape, a silver pipe cleaner and a round sticker label. Balance on a beam, log or curb while battling the bubbles. How many can your Jedi pop before loosing his balance?

Star Wars play dough

Make this play dough together at home and pack it for picnic table fun. FrugalFun4Boys.com compiled 3 different doughs to represent snowy scenes on Hoth, black galaxy dough, and Tatooine sand dough! Toss the Star Wars Legos and micro machines in your park bag and let those imaginations run wild!

Coloring masks

Found at Amazing Party Shop on Etsy, these Star Wars themed coloring masks are just the beginning of hours of pretend play at the park (and in the car, and at home, and we are pretty sure at bedtime!) Practice coloring and cutting, improve hand strength by punching holes for string, and tying knots to attach the string. Look how you just disguised practicing visual motor skills!

Star Wars Mad Libs

Mad Libs are great pack-and-go items that you can do just about anywhere! Super bonus if your child is working on practicing his or her handwriting! (Amazon.com)

Star Wars memory cards

Slow things down under a shady tree or toss down a picnic blanket to play this clever memory game, by Childhood 101. This popular Star Wars twist of an old favorite blasts the game into a whole new galaxy of fun!

Star Wars Snacks too! 

Fruit light saber skewers

(found by Rookie Moms) Strawberries, grapes, blueberries and raspberries make these clever treats healthy and easy for kids to assemble! Pack a bowl full of prepared fruit and have the kids pick out and build their own fruitsaber!!

 Lightsaber popsicles

Take a couple of minutes to make these popcicle cozies and you and your kids will be the talk of the park! The Joys of Boys blog brings you this DIY idea. If you aren’t the DIY, drive to the craft store type, this entire cookbook of Star Wars frozen treats, complete with light saber molds might be just what you need!

Tapping into a child’s interests can not only inspire joy and family play, but can be that little bit of magic that turns hardships into heroic feats!

May the force be with you (at the park)!

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