Ways to Play: Pretend

Transport yourself with friends and family into the painting Red Groyne by Sheila Graber.

Red Groyne by Sheila Graber
Painting 'Red Groyne' by Sheila Graber

Transport yourself with friends and family into the painting Red Groyne by Sheila Graber, from South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. Create an imaginary world full of sounds, smells, sensations, and new characters using simple everyday objects. 

Pretend to go for a swim in the sea. What does it smell like and feel like on your skin, and in between your toes? Take a bath in your bathing suit, and afterwards put rice, flour, bread crumbs in a bowl and play with it letting it run through your fingers or toes like grains of sand. 

When you get out of the water pretend to lie on a blanket on the beach or sit on one of the rocks. Look up and admire the sun set/ sunrise. What are you thinking and feeling? Is the air warm, cool, or breezy? 

Pretend to be a sailor, a pirate, a boat captain, a smuggler hiding your goods on the shore, or a treasure hunter. Dress up and use a piece of furniture as your boat or sit on the floor and move your arms as if you were rowing out to sea. Shake a sheet, towel, or shirt slowly to create the sound of a sail blowing in the wind or the crashing of waves. 

Pretend to be a creature or animal that lives in the rocks, in the sand, in the sea or in the sky by the Groyne. Fly, crawl, hop, slither, paddle, float, splash, crab along, quack, squawk, click, cluck, and screech. 


Float different materials in the sink or in a bowl of water. See what floats and what sinks! Find a lid that can hold a toy. Pretend they are the captain of the boat and go on an adventure. What will you look for? Will you go fishing, search for sunken treasure, meet a pirate and go on board their ship? Scuba dive with the sharks or even be one? 

We'd love it if you shared photographs of your pretend worlds on our social media channels - FacebookTwitterInstagram.