The Importance of Imaginative Play & Toys
Imaginative play is an important way for children to learn how thoughts and feelings are different for everyone, helping them develop empathy and emotional intelligence. We have outlined what is considered imaginative play, the benefits of imaginative play and toys that can aid imaginative play for your children.
What is Imaginative Play
Imaginative play is also known as role-playing or pretend play. It is any kind of play that allows children to explore the world from the perspective of others. It could be dressing up as a doctor and using soft toys as patients or simply sitting and creating a story of their own. When two or more children are involved in imaginative play, the value of role-play grows as they learn to cooperate with each other in a shared imaginary world!
The Benefits of Imaginative Play
Imaginative play often uses themes of good and bad, which helps children work through moral dilemmas. This helps them understand what is good or bad, kind, or unkind and helps them become more empathetic. Similarly, as imaginative play develops empathy and emotional understanding, children become more able to communicate and negotiate with their peers. By walking in the shoes of others in an imaginary play setting, they can anticipate and accommodate other people’s feelings.
Toys & Activities for Imaginative Play
The best type of imaginative play is created by children. It is best to let children guide imaginative play, but it helps to have props available to spark their imaginations. We have outlined some activities and toys that can help you create an ideal environment for imaginative play.
Playing Dress Up
When you provide your child with simple accessories that allow them to dress up, they begin to use their imaginations to create stories about who they are and the adventures they are having. This allows children to create characters and pretend scenarios. The Toy Shop has heaps of fun costumes that allow your kids to engage in this type of play!
Some Costume Suggestions available at The Toy Shop Online:
Stuffed Toy Tea Party or Doctor’s Office
Children love pretending to be a doctor and checking their stuffed animals’ pulse or giving them an injection. Stuffed animals can also be used by children to have pretend tea parties. These pretend play scenarios often reflect what children are picking up around them, and what they observe in the relationships of people they know. The Toy Shop offers a range of stuffed toys and pretend play kits to encourage this type of imaginative play.
Popular Imaginative Play Prop Suggestions:
Playing with puppets is a great way to encourage children to create a story with a script and characters, using puppets to put on a play. Children can work with others to create scenery and collaborate to create a puppet show and bring the story to life. This is a great way to encourage older children to engage in imaginative play as they may steer away from dress up or stuffed toy imaginative play.
The Toy Shop has the perfect props to encourage puppet play!
The Toy Shop
Imaginative play is not something you can plan, children do it instinctively. However, as adults, you can create an environment that encourages and inspires children. Imaginative play has the ability to transform everyday activities into amazing fantasies using children’s imagination. The important thing is that children are exploring life using a different perspective.
Toys cannot deliver imaginative play, however, having good props can really spark a child’s imagination! Shop our full range of pretend play here.
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