Ideas for Imaginative Play

Playtime is important. It not only boosts creativity, but it also helps with problem solving,
improves hand eye coordination, provides mental and physical exercise, and very often
improves social soft skills, such as taking turns and sharing.
Sometimes though, kids have no idea what they want to play and look to you for suggestions.
Next time that happens, there’s no need to umm or ahh… Here’s a list of 10 fun, easy, and
imaginative ways to play.

  1. Pretend cooking
    All children love to pretend to cook, serve, or grocery shop. Don’t have play food on hand? Use
    empty boxes, draw pictures of the foods, or use other items that could be food, like blocks!
  2. Block structures and games
    Speaking of blocks, is there anything you can’t do with them? Why make just a block tower or
    castle when you could do a city or a school? How about creating a fun game with the blocks? It
    could be as simple as how high can they be stacked or more elaborate, such as how fast can
    they be sorted by shape and size.
  3. Find some boxes
    Boxes are endless fun. They can be rocket ships and race cars, forts or boats, a toy’s stage, or
    even cut with an adult’s help to create a puppet theatre. Most of us have a few boxes laying around, why not pull out a few and see what happens?
  4. Be a superhero
    Add a blanket or dish towel cape and your little one can be off to save the world. Or, the pets
    from an empty food dish, the floor from dirty laundry, or any other little task they need from their boss and head of the superhero community, you!
  5. Create an art gallery
    If your child loves to be artistic, why not let them spend a few hours drawing, gluing, and
    glittering. Put their creations on display and let them give you a tour. Take photos for family and friends to see and share.
  6. Put on a play
    Take a beloved story and put on a play. This works well for multiple children, or even for just
    one, taking on multiple roles or having plush friends fill in.
  7. Make a hideout
    Boxes, blankets, pillows, or anything that can create a kid hideout makes for a fun project, and
    gives the added thrill of hiding and playing in it. Add a book and a snack, and boredom goes away!
  8. Make something old new
    Challenge your child to take three to five toys in their room and make a new game out of them.
    For example: a plush animal has to be thrown into a basket, while standing in a hula hoop, backwards, while wearing baseball gloves. The game can get very silly as your child chooses objects and gets creative.
  9. Create boats
    Tinfoil, plastic, or paper, create boats and see how well they float in the sink. Be creative, print
    off templates, or watch videos and see how long your boat can float, and how much weight it can hold.
  10. Paint with water
    A sidewalk and water on a paint brush or q-tip can really make for some fun. The water dries,
    but not before fun and imaginative doodles are made!
    Next time you need a little more imagination time and a little less screen time, suggest some of
    these activities! Did your child like one over another? Stop by and let us know which.
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