As children grow, it's important for them to have healthy food, a safe home and for their minds to be stimulated and given the opportunity to learn and develop. Imaginative play is a very natural way for children to learn through play and role play.
There are many amazing benefits of imaginative play for children. There are so many benefits to learning via our own creativity and imagination. The sky's the limit to how many places we can go or the people we can be when it comes to imaginative play.
In this article, I'll explain what imaginative play is and how to create space at home to encourage your children to let their creativity and minds expand.
What is Imaginative Play?
Imaginative play can be defined as, “the acting out of stories which involve multiple perspectives and the playful manipulation of ideas and emotions.”
Imaginative play is essentially pretend play which involves fantasy, make-believe, symbolism, thinking and acting out stories, themes and many ideas as part of the play. Pretend play allows the expression of various emotions and ideas.
Many researchers have identified imaginative play as a vital component to the normal development of a child. Imaginative play supports children in becoming imaginative and creative adults, which of course is a valuable life skill as well as a benefit to have in many professions.
With imaginative play being such an important part of a child development, let's look at ways we can promote it for our children.
Having a climbing frame in your garden
Climbing frames promote imaginative play through the many ways they can be played with and used to explore the world.
High-quality frames such as those made by Fatmoose provide various materials, levels, shapes and design which stimulate the imagination. The frame can go from being imaginary pirate ships, castles, mountains, you name it! Kids can enter their own creative world when they play on their climbing frames.
Climbing frames are the perfect platform to promote imaginative play in children, and adults too!
Swinging to the stars
Climbing frames that have a wooden swing add another dimension to imaginative play in the garden. We all have childhood memories of being pushed on the swing by our parent. The swing is a wonderful platform for using our imaginations with our child.
Well made climbing frames with swings like those made in Germany by Fatmoose provide a wonderful environment where children can explore and play on their own or with their parents.
Playing with your child
When a parent and child play together, it increases the bond between them and creates a safe, stable, and nurturing relationship. This foundation helps with social, emotional, cognitive and language development.
Playing with your child gives them the chance to stretch their imagination by combining it with yours. Together, the sky is the limit to the wonderful pretend play you can come up with.
Allowing your child to have unstructured playtime
While playing with your child has huge benefits, it is also beneficial to allow your child to play on his or her own, or with friends or siblings. When children come together, they create pretend situations that foster their imaginations. And it also gives them the opportunity to develop social skills and recognize their emotions and how they fit into social situations.
Having a climbing frame in the backyard along with some other toys or natural items for the children to play with creates a great space to foster imagination, cognition and emotions.
Do you find imaginative play beneficial for kids? In what way do you foster imaginative play in your garden?