Playing is an integral part of childhood, but imaginative play is critical for the development of a child’s emotional, physical, as well as social skills. Let us see why you should focus on imaginative play for your child.
Imagination is the faculty of the mind that helps hone a child’s critical thinking ability. It enhances resourcefulness as your child begins to form new concepts, ideas, images, and experiences without the need to see or touch.
Importance of Imaginative Play
In imaginative play, children try role-playing and act out experiences that interest them or they have absorbed from their interaction with others. In the process, they practice their social skills and experience new things through seeing, touching, tasting, etc. Children need to engage in imaginative play to absorb those experiences and make sense of the world around them.
Imaginative role play aids a child’s development because it helps them enact what they have seen around them and understood from it. This form of learning pushes the child to cross the boundaries of the real world around him on his own terms and understand the consequences of doing things in a particular way, without coming to any harm.
This becomes a learning process for the child. The play involves confrontations, conflicts, and their resolution in a way the child deems fit. This skill-based learning prepares them for real-world conflicts and induces confidence to navigate through situations in schools, play zones, when they are with their family, and even in social situations, later on as adults.
Ways to Encourage Imaginative Play
While each child has a specific requirement for imaginative play, there are some common ways to encourage this process in children, such as:
#1 Provide Them Props
Props play a crucial role in a child’s imaginative play, and these don’t have to be expensive things or items you need to purchase. Daily use items from the kitchen, work table, and bedrooms attract a child’s imagination and make them feel comfortable in the creative surroundings of their choice. A cardboard box, plastic basket, brooms, stuffed animals, crockery, spaces under the bed are good enough to spark a child’s imagination and help them create a fantasy world.
#2 Encourage Reading
Reading stories to children exposes them to different scenarios, experiences, and places. Alternate this by asking them to make up stories of their own. Regular reading stimulates brain development and encourages them to experience new things and collect more information. It is an effective way to expose them to things that are unknown to them, developing their curiosity a well as empathy for others.
#3 Help Them to Push the Boundaries of Creativity
Children are good at making up stories and playing the role of a character they love. They may like acting like a parent, a doctor, a driver, a teacher, or even a dog. Encourage them to create stories of their own and show interest in participating in the activity.
Keep some stationery and artwork items within easy reach. They may create drawings from their imagination with no counterparts in the real world and that is what imaginative play is all about.
Expose Them to the Outside World
A visit to a zoo, a museum, a forest, botanical garden, or even a supermarket provides children the opportunities to engage in imaginative play and think creatively. These are also the places where they interact with strangers and other children and naturally develop social skills.
If you want to know more about imaginative play for pre-schoolers at Clovel Childcare Early Learning Centre, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Just give us a call at 1300 863 986 or fill in this contact us form.
Thanks for reading,
1300 863 986