Why is imaginative play important?
When it comes to imaginative play, the sky's the limit. First your tot's favourite ride-on is a racing car. Next, it's a helicopter taking flight (right through your living room). Make-believe might seem like it's all fun and games, but pretend play helps your tot build BIG thinking skills.
Our guide explains how toddlers' storytelling amps up their cognitive skills (from playing shops that sell unicorns) and fast-tracks their decision-making and problem-solving (like flying into space in a cardboard box).
Looking for ways to bring your toddler’s imagination to life? Fasten your seatbelt and read on.
Storytelling: pretend play sets
Benefits: building social skills
Imaginative play is your preschooler's way of developing new social skills. When the knight saves the princess (or the witch, frog or fireman), that's the storyteller building empathy. In other words, they're learning how to co-operate and walk in someone else's shoes. Playing different roles helps them understand different perspectives. This will set them up well when they make their big debut on the school playground.
Imaginative play for toddlers: what do they like?
Will your mini prefer to play as a pirate or a dinosaur? Wizard or deep-sea diver? Pretend play helps them to decide what they like. Let them explore their interests while developing crucial decision-making skills for later in life. They'll do it all while having fun in adventures of their own making.
Sparking imaginative play
Benefits of pretend play: imagine what's next
You can boost your tot's development by joining in the imaginative fun. It's not always easy for grown-ups to engage in pretend play for hours (and hours... and hours) on end. Still, with a little imagination and some creative thinking (like "this magic broom chases away pesky dust bunnies"), you can join in on the fun