Encouraging imaginative play

Encouraging imaginative play

While your pre-schooler, no doubt, has a wonderful imagination and is slaying dragons and having tea with the queen every day, a great way to encourage imaginative play is to have:

  • A dress-up box. No matter what gender your child is, try to provide clothing and props (handbags, pirate patches, veils, jewellery, light sabre) that will cover the needs of everyone. 
  • A recycling box. If you have a stash of empty containers, cereal boxes and milk cartons, your pre-schooler will be able to turn the lot into a supermarket, or a robot, a space-ship, or Darth Vadar… the list is endless.
  • Paper, pencils, crayons, glue. These are all must-have items for making a shop sign, playing schools, making a pet mouse, or a pirate hat.
  • Second-hand kitchen utensils. Every make-believe house should have them! How can you cook an imaginary cake for your imaginary friends without a wooden spoon?
  • Building blocks. What can’t you make with building blocks?
  • A secret spot. Clearly, if you know about the secret spot then it’s hardly a secret; but a quiet spot tucked out of the way – behind the sofa, under the kitchen table, a hidey-hole in a garden bush, down the side passage – will allow her to conjure up her own magnificent world without you barging in and ruining her illusion.

This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health and Raising Children Network

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