I don't think my parents had to encourage imaginative play for me and my brother when we were little. We didn't have as many technical distractions and were actually forced to play outside for hour upon hour! 😮 It really is a totally different time for my children and I feel more of an urge to make sure they are playing without TV, iPads, tablets, etc. involved. There are some easy ways to encourage imaginative play in children. All it takes is a little focus and determination!
Easy Ways to Encourage Imaginative Play
Get Them Outside
For some reason being outside just breads creativity. I was amazed recently at the “fairy” house my girls created at the base of a tree in our back yard. The average onlooker may not have seen a fairy house, but in mind girl's eyes it was an awesome fairy house. They would never have created this house out of twigs and leaves if they were inside watching television.
Build Something Together
Sometimes we have to demonstrate imaginative play for our kids. One easy way to do this is by building something with your kids. My husband loves to build elaborate forts for our kids that they can sleep and play in. He works with the girls to build the fort and it gives them a chance to see some creativity at work.
Building with Lincoln Logs and Legos are other good choices for building projects. Let your child's imagination run wild while they build. I have to be careful not to “help” them too much with their creations! 🙂
Dress Up Box
I have fond memories of playing dress up. I distinctly remember creating long Rapunzel hair out of a towel and a belt! 🙂 My kids have always had a box of dress up clothes. It cracks me up to see the style creations they come up with too.
Recently my daughter got to try out the My Little Pediatrician kit. (Thanks to Little Medical School for providing us the kit to review….all opinions are 100% our own) I was SUPER impressed with this kit. It is the perfect way to encourage imaginative play for kids. This set is for kids 4 and older and works for boys or girls.
Check out all the stuff that is included in the kit:
- Doctor's coat
- plush baby doll with a birth certificate
- a mini-Finnish Baby Box for baby’s safe sleeping
- a pediatric assessment form
- tape measure
- name tag
- self guided workbook with diploma and colored markers
You can also get the Little Medical School Stethoscope to go along with your My Little Pediatrician Kit. My daughter had so much fun using this stethoscope. The stethoscope really works too! She got to hear mommy's heartbeat. She felt like a mini-mommy because I have a stethoscope too!
Give Them the Time
One of the biggest obstacles to imaginative play in society today is TIME. Kids today are over scheduled and just too busy. We have tried to keep a limit of one activity at a time for our kids to limit their busyness.
Giving kids the time to use their imaginations is one easy way to encourage imaginative play. This is also a simple, free thing parents can do for their kids.
How Do You Encourage Imaginative Play at Your House?
What are your favorite ways to encourage imaginative play for your kids? Do your kids like to dress up and play outside? I would love to hear some funny stories about your kid's imaginations!