Children love imaginative play. Often, large boxes, toy cars, trucks, and tea sets are their best friends. Why? Because it allows them to create an imaginative world of their own.
The box transforms into a spaceship, the toy car transforms into a demolition vehicle, the tea set transforms into a prop for a raging party. This is called imaginative play.
Here’s what imaginative play is, and its benefits.
What Is Imaginative Play?
Imaginative play is essentially role playing and acting out different experiences, tasks, and plots. It allows them to express positive and negative feelings, make decisions and express themselves in a healthy and safe environment.
Summed up, imaginative play is make-believe— it’s fantasy. So, you might see your child acting out a story in which they have to slay a dragon and save the princess alongside their imaginary bud. Don’t discourage it. Here’s why.
What Are The Benefits of Imaginative Play?
While playing, children actively experiment by taking on different social and emotional roles. It allows them to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, a vital perspective for the development of empathy, thus honing their emotional capabilities. Children also begin to solve problems that come along in imaginative play, improving their problem-solving skills. For example, to refine a piece of cardboard and turn it into a spaceship, they’ll probably look for markers to draw on it— a perfect example of improving problem-solving and thinking skills.
Pretend and imaginative play also helps children understand language and instructions better. Like sponges, children absorb their environment, and imitate the words and phrases they hear spoken around them. Using these phrases to imitate during play allows them to refine their speaking and processing skills, making imaginative play a very powerful tool in their development.
How to Encourage Imaginative Play?
To encourage imaginative play, you should be able to provide your children with safe and fun toys. Make sure that these toys and props are simple— old sheets, plain cardboard boxes, pots, and pans are the ideal props for such play.
Provide your child with dress-up clothes by filling a box or a bin with fun items like old hats, purses, masks, and whatnot. After that, let your child take over! They’ll create fun costumes, characters, backstories, and much more, encouraging their creative and imaginative skills all while having lots of fun.
Looking for daycares that encourage imaginative play in Lenexa? The Whole Child Development Center is one of the best after school programs and child and infant day care centers based in Lenexa, KS. Offering affordable child care, we have a host of programs designed for children of all ages. With individual attention to all children and stimulating activities, we’ve been ranked among the best day care centers in Lenexa.
Get in touch with us to find out more.