The Natural Confectionery Company
Little minds, big ideas
Return to imaginative play

Return to imaginative play

Whilst extra-curricular activities are vital for your child's wellbeing - linked to higher academic achievement, self-worth, health and fitness - over scheduling structured activities can have a detrimental effect on the family unit, creating undue stress and exhaustion. And mums agree. A recent survey* commissioned by The Natural Confectionery Co, and run by Kidspot found that 47% of families are experiencing family fatigue, while an overwhelming 87% saying that they would like to see their children spend more time on unstructured and creative play and less time on computer games.

Not only is family fatigue exhausting for today's busy mum, but it prevents kids from indulging in their own imaginative play which occurs when they have nothing structured to do. It's clear that many families need to reduce scheduling appointments in the calendar and create more free time. Fostering imaginative play is easier than you think and we've provided lots of tips and activities.

The great outdoors

Backyard water play

Hours can be happily spent dreaming up lots of different water games with a bucket of water or a sprinkler.

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Water painting

Children really enjoy being outdoors, running around the garden and finding different ways to play with water. This activity allows children to get creative using paintbrushes with water as imaginary paint, watching it fade away slowly, and it's mess free too!

Outdoor bath

Children love playing in pools and splashing around in the water. You can turn your play pool or large buckets into an outdoor bath. Your kids will have heaps of fun using their imagination to create watery games, all while getting clean without realising!

Backyard camping

Backyard camping gives you the best of both worlds - the great outdoors close to the convenience of an indoor bathroom and a well-stocked kitchen! It's a fun way for children to play and engage with the natural world, leading to all sorts of imaginative games.

Inspire the imagination
Science experiment

Ice play

Inspire your child's imagination with Ice Play, a great science experiment kids activity that may just spark a lifetime of scientific curiosity. Kids love to explore the unknown so dive into this fun science project today.

Use the senses

Nature painting

You can easily find natural objects in your own backyard that will provide your children with lots of creative stimulation. Pine cones, needles, leaves, sticks and flowers can be used to create a fun 3D collage or decoratively painted.

Create a character

Mister Spoon

Make use of old, unused wooden spoons. Children select a persona for their wooden spoon character - a dragon, person, friend - then decorate using discarded wool, cotton, ribbons, fabric, foil or other readily available household items.

Create a plahouse

Table tent

If you are looking for a creative way to occupy children on a rainy day, simply provide them with old sheets, blankets and pillows. Children will happily spend hours creating their own cave and play acting different scenarios.

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Magical Fun

Fairy Garden

Kids love playing in the garden and they can enjoy being creative when they make their very own fairy garden that they can play loads of imaginary games in later.

How to

Tips for natural play

Creating a more natural environment for your children isn't as difficult you might think. Leading natural play Landscape Architect, Fiona Robbé gives us her top tips for adding more natural play in your child's day.

Jungle in a box

Get Wild

Animals, trees and the great outdoors - all brought indoors for those times when you just can't get the kids out! 

Want more ideas?

Imaginative Play

Rather than offering them structured ways of playing, let them loose with make believe games and plenty of open-ended play