“Get your head out of the clouds” is a phrase you may have heard plenty of times. Below you will find information on the benefits of imaginative play.“Get your head out of the clouds” is a phrase you may have heard plenty of times when you were a child. However, spending time pretending and daydreaming has recently been shown to be extremely beneficial to children. While there is certainly a place for focused and disciplined learning, research in the area is making it more apparent than ever that kids shouldn’t be “all work and no play.” Below you will find information on the benefits of imaginative play as well as some ideas for some activities you can do with your children.
There have been a variety of studies done in the recent past that suggest that pretending is a vital component to the normal development of a child. The ability to imagine everyday objects are something unique and extraordinary has been shown to impact everything from social skills to language usage. According to an article in Psychology Today, “The important concept of “theory of mind,” an awareness that one’s thoughts may differ from those of other persons and that there are a variety of perspectives of which each of us is capable, is closely related to imaginative play.”
One excellent way to spawn imaginative play is to play dress up and do some activity that centers around what your child’s costume. Making simple costumes like using an oversized t-shirt and some hot glue to make a lab coat can lead to some fun adventures. Click here for a neat experiment you can do with your little scientists
Another popular way to pretend play is preparing food in the kitchen. Utilizing felt to make food items is a great way to inspire your kid’s imagination without loading them up on food and sweets. Most items are easy to make and are durable enough to last a long time. Check out the link here for a description of how to make cupcakes out of felt.
Imaginative play can also be used as an opportunity to teach kids about the world around us. For instance, if your child is into space, you can set up an astronaut adventure that involves “mission briefings” using age appropriate books about space, planets, or the solar system. You could also help them build a spaceship or rocket out of items around the house and talk about how the real thing works. For a few more ideas, follow the link here.