Everyday Items as Awesome Toys: UMBRELLA

Everyday Items as Awesome Toys: UMBRELLAumbrellas

Awesome Toys, The awesomeness of common items in play should not go unnoticed! In this series we will explore one such common item each time and discuss five different ways to play with it.

This article is exploring the everyday item: UMBRELLA. 

Umbrellas are available in all sizes, colors, with many different styles to pick from. For these games, any umbrella can be used of  kid or adult size. I’d personally prefer to use a colorful, easy to operate and safe one.

Learn five fun games to play with your child:

  1. Open and Close.

umbrella open closeOpen and close the umbrella with a playful song (Open, close them, open close them – in the tune of open shut them). The adult can sing the song and the child and adult must open and close the umbrella based on the song.

Use a kid-safe umbrella or have an adult assist the child to ensure safety during this task.

This game will encourage listening and language learning skills while having fun.



  1. Dance with me.

Use the umbrella as a prop to dance. Play a fun, peppy song and encourage movements such as twirling with an open umbrella or turning around a closed umbrella to a tune!

Imitation, listening and motor coordination can be improved through this music-based game.


  1. Catch them.

umbrellaSeveral mid or small sized plastic balls are to be used for this game.  Have the child catch them one at a time, with an opened upside-down umbrella.

Build attention as well as eye-hand coordination. If attention is targeted, the adult must ensure the child’s name is called before throwing the ball towards them. Build language through this game, by naming the color of the balls or naming the direction the ball will come from (i.e. from on top, from the right etc.).


  1. Build a story.

This is a game of using pretend and language skills to build a story with the umbrella as a prop.

umbrella rain cue cardIt can be a simple scene enacted with the child. For example, take the child’s hand while holding the umbrella. Pretend to be walking on the road with several puddles and heavy rain. Ensure to be a little dramatic.

For beginning learners, you can use cue cards of the different weathers or environment you are trying to create. Such as, a card showing ‘Raining’ or ‘Sunny day’.  Use simple language – ‘Jump over the puddle’ or ‘Come under’ etc.


  1. Who is ‘Under the Umbrella’.

umbrella - who is underA fun variation of peek a boo. Build loads of language skills along with pretend play through this simple game. Begin the game by having a familiar adult under the umbrella. Ask the question, ‘Who is under the umbrella’ while sitting hidden under it. Remove the umbrella away and say, ‘Adult’s name!’ e.g. Mummy! / Aunty!

Play the same with the child under and later with favorite stuffed toys.



Awesome Toys

We hope you enjoy playing with these ideas!


Have other ideas, leave a comment about them! We’d love to hear from you.

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Tanushree Chandhok
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