Also known as role-play or pretend play, imaginative play is a common form of play among young children. Through imaginative play, children explore the world in the perspective of others as they pretend to be someone else. From playing family to dressing up as a doctor and treating stuffed animals in the hospital, children learn to try and understand how life is like for another person in an imaginary world.
THE BENEFITS OF IMAGINATIVE PLAY
Most imaginary play requires the theme of good and bad especially in popular role-play such as police or superhero. Through such imaginative games and role-play situations, children will have the chance to work through moral dilemmas and have a healthy comprehension of what is good or bad, right or wrong, or kind or unkind.
When two or more children play together, they learn teamwork through cooperating with each other in a shared imaginary world. They will also learn other skills including being flexible, accommodating, as well as having good negotiation skills. These skills are developed as imaginative play helps develop emotional understanding and empathy. Accommodating and anticipating other people’s feelings will be learnt as children try being in the shoes of others.
As children indulge in their make-believe world and their selected character, they tend to narrate their stories as they go, as well as including new words and methods of communication into their expanding libraries. Communication and language are then enhanced through imaginative play as it supports such learning.
Finally, children also learn to be creative through using different kinds of props and resources to support their story. If a real sword is unavailable, they could use other items found in the house such as an umbrella. Re-purposing normal daily items and incorporating them into their games encourages inventiveness and creativity which is useful in their lives. They also have the creativity to create a story of their own from different stories and situations.
IDEAS AND ACTIVITIES FOR IMAGINATIVE PLAY
As parents, encouraging imaginative play is important as part of your child’s growth. Instead of dictating what children should play or do, children should be encouraged to invent their own games. Providing a variety of props or imaginative toys would be a great start for parents to get children started on imaginative play. The regular everyday environment is good to supportive imaginative play and creative development easily. You may want to provide or prompt your child with some suggestions such as going on a shopping trip, going to the doctor’s or a trip to the zoo. On top of that, you can support your child’s imaginative play by providing materials for them to create props or costumes such as empty shoe boxes to be made into a hospital bed.
THE BEST TOYS FOR IMAGINATIVE PLAY
Imaginative play means children can use almost anything and everything as part of their play. At Kidpowered, we have a wide variety of imaginative kids toys available to cater to your child’s needs when it comes to imaginative play. Get in touch with us to find out more about the toys that we provide or simply for advice on the best toys for your child to get started on imaginative play!