Kids love to play imaginary games and role play because it’s a place where they can create and lose themselves in a whole new world. New parents might be perplexed by how creative children are and what they do with everyday items found around the home. For example, old shoes can be worn to pretend to be a “cowboy” or a box can become a play house.
Toy makers are well of aware of the importance of fostering a vivid imagination in children. Play toys that have been constructed with this in mind will work to help kids use their imaginations; however, this is not always apparent at first glance.
Think about how children use role play (for instance- pretending to be mommy or daddy with a baby doll). During these instances, kids learn to work on their socializing as well as persuasion skills. They do this by pretending to be someone or something else.
Another way in which imaginary play helps children is with their communication skills. Our children absorb much more from the world around them than we think. As they play with toys visualizing different scenarios, some of that learning expresses itself through language.
You may even find out that they have a larger vocabulary than you originally thought. During this time, children can even be encouraged to use new and bigger words and it’s an easy way to teach them either by verbal or written words. This can really pay off and give them a head start in reading early or making it much easier to teach them.
A very big plus to encouraging this type of play in children is that they have a wonderful opportunity to learn how to troubleshoot and problem solve. This can happen during pretend scenarios, for instance, she’s playing in the kitchen and then maybe there are no more eggs for the cake she’s trying to bake.
Let the child come up with one or more solutions. If your child is ready you can add more questions to this learning moment like, “What would you do next time so the food doesn’t burn?”
And guess what? This type of play time is one that really doesn’t have to cost you much at all! You don’t even need to purchase new toys. Anything that you have in your home already can become a fun prop for kids to use.
Consider giving children old dresses, shoes, and a box can even pose as a play house. You can even recycle items such as empty cereal boxes and plastic bowls can be used to play kitchen!
One tip that you should be aware of is to let your child’s imagination run wild. This is the perfect place for them to create and nothing needs to make sense. Allow her to explore and have some fun doing whatever makes sense to her.
A child’s innocence should be protected and this a fun time for them to explore, create and appreciate the wonder of being small and having fun dreaming big dreams.