Sharai Meyers, founder of the world’s leading family club, Purple Dragon, shares the best ways to engage children through play to boost creativity and confidence.

As Einstein once said, “play is the highest form of research.” Many skills are developed through creative play, giving kids the freedom to learn, explore and discover whilst also boosting confidence, self-expression and building lasting memories. Take a theme, such as space, and translate it across a variety of activities in art, music and cookery.

There are no mistakes in art. As Picasso once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Art is about letting your imagination run wild. Ditch the paintbrush and craft potato stamps in the shapes of planets to create your very own, colourful solar system. Bubble wrap printing is just as fun. Perfect for restless toddlers!

Music not only bolsters creativity, confidence and self-expression, it also boosts all areas of development, from motor skills through to language and literacy. As Tolstoy once said, “music is the shorthand of emotion.” But, it’s also a chance to kick back and let loose, as seen daily in our Bubbles & Drums and Mini Maestro’s classes.

Craft home-made maracas, using plastic bottles filled with beans or pasta. Put on Holst’s The Planet and orbit the kitchen, shaking and dancing to how the music makes you feel. Use music to experience touch, smell, sound and to discover exciting shapes and patterns through movement. This is a great activity for all age groups.

From baking bread to squishing up smoothies; grating gruyere to piping puff pastries, our Gourmet Gofers classes at Purple Dragon are some of the most popular and young members love taking the Recipe cards to try at home too. Measuring, weighing, rolling, cutting, concocting, it’s all part of an enriching culinary experience.

Create space-themed planet cookies to build your very own edible solar system – it’s easy and fun to do for all ages. Cut out different sized planet shapes and decorate with colourful icing, made using blueberries or beetroot, icy blue for Neptune or deep red for Mars. A visual feast, which you can devour straight after.

Purple Dragon is the world’s best family club – a place for adults, that loves kids. www.purpledragonplay.com

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