From pretending to be a dinosaur and making a ‘special meal for Mummy’, to dressing up as a pirate! Whichever way your child gets involved in imaginative play, it's an important and valuable tool in their childhood development.
Experts What to Expect, say: “Play is your child’s full-time job – and there’s nothing else that instructs her quite as well in both physical and intellectual development.”
So, how can you encourage your child to experiment with creative play? Here’s a few ways…
We sigh when it comes to the colder months, but this is actually one of the best times to get out and about to explore nature at its best. During fall, when all the leaves are brown, why not pile them up and get your child to jump in them or kick them about. Lots of rain? Why not get the wellies on and pretend to be little pig's jumping in muddy puddles?! Did someone say S-N-O-W? Get your kids to create a snowman complete with nose, scarf and eyes.
Among popular preschool games is role play. Fancy dress is fun way for your little ones to explore different personalities and themes. Try, if you can, to avoid steering them in any particular direction; instead provide them with a variety of fun costumes; from doctors and nurses to firefighters and fairies, allowing their imaginations to take them to places beyond our realm. You can never underestimate the power and importance of play when it comes to little ones.
Make Mealtimes Fun
Mealtimes can often be a battlefield with little ones, from fussy eaters to those that won’t sit still in their feeding chair. But the dinner table can be the perfect setting to introduce some creativity. It starts from a young age when parents pretend a loaded spoon is a ‘plane’ zooming into their mouth. Then as kids get older, we tend to lose some of that joy, focusing on whether they are simply eating enough.
The Munchy Play kids plate was designed to bring fun and play to mealtimes, making the dinner table an inviting place for children to be. Fuelling minds and tummies at the same time, there’s three versions to choose from, making an ideal gift for a toddler or infant.
Around 7pm every night, parents tuck their children in with a warming bedtime story. Not only good for parent-child bonding, a great book can take you to different places in your mind. Look for fun simple books with playful words and colourful illustrations. Some timeless classics include; The Hungry Caterpillar, The Gruffalo and The Tiger who Came to Tea.
Why is it that all the fun games get your messy, sticky and dirty!? From playing with mouldable dough to cutting out paper planes, to colouring in and making prints with potatoes. Creative play doesn’t have to be expensive or consuming and can often be done with items from around the home. Most important of all, it encourages creative thinking, problem solving and many, co-ordination among many other advantages.
So there you have it, five fun ways to bring some imaginative play to your lives, without costing a fortune either. For more inspiring fun, why not follow us on Facebook.