At Two Little Magpies, we value the importance of creativity and imagination. We are always amazed at some of the play that our children get up to when left to their own devices. One of the reasons we developed this clothing range was due to the interaction we noticed between our children and the characters. They made up stories about them and acted as them – Rex the dinosaur vs Anja the unicorn was a particular highlight!
We hope that your children also love these characters and that they will have as many adventures with them as our children do. Not only is it beautiful to watch and hear their exciting stories, but it is such an important part of their social development, ensuring that they can grow up to be happy and healthy and not afraid to use their imaginations and follow their dreams!
Imaginative play, in its most basic form, is when children role play or act out various experiences they may have had or seen. Essentially, they are experimenting with decision making and learning how to behave. Children learn from what they experience; senses such as taste, touch and smell; and social experiences gained from being around you, their family and other children. To fully understand these experiences and make sense of the world, they need to be engaged in imaginary play so that they can develop their understanding of their place in this complex world.
How many times have you replayed a conversation wishing you had said something different? As adults, we can often overlook the value of imaginative play, but if you think about it as a child’s version of rehearsing what you want to say in an important conversation or going through a mock interview, you can appreciate the importance of imaginative play to a child.
Play is a child’s way of making sense of the world. Role play may appear to be a very simple activity yet it helps children to learn practical life skills; from social interaction to practical skills such as putting on clothes.
So how can you help your child with imaginative play?
This really is the easiest part. The main point of imaginative play is to encourage your child to interact with their world in their most imaginative way possible.
How many times have you bought an expensive toy only to have your child spend the entire afternoon playing with the box?! It can become a den, a racing car, a fairytale palace, a computer, a spaceship…
That box of old clothes you were going to give to the charity shop is suddenly a box of props for all of the colourful characters your child wants to be.
The most important part is that imaginative play is a beautiful way for you and your child to interact. Have a tea party using the doll tea set to teach them about sharing, call them on a pretend phone to stimulate different conversations and stories.
A bowl, a spoon and an apron…
Suddenly they are chefs running their own restaurant and serving us a delicious dinner (or baking goodies-where you obviously have to ensure you've got every last ounce of cake mix out of the bowl because it's so yummy-cue full face in the bowl scenario...referencing to the picture above)!!
All of these activities help to develop important skills including:
- Social skills – turn-taking and sharing
- Language acquisition – conversations and asking and answering questions
- Imagination – having to develop a character or create a story
- Real world skills – shopkeeping, being in a restaurant, school