Encouraging Imaginative and Pretend Play


Mums and dads often communicate with their babies during the infancy stage through baby talks and babbles, while using facial expressions and gestures to converse with their tots. Babies on the other hand learn to respond and converse through this as well. They often pay attention, react with a ‘no’ or a simple nod when they don’t like something; and respond with a smile or a laughter when they feel good. Even while telling them to ‘close’ and ‘open’ their hands, they approve of it by mimicking the gesture which is a good start to introduce imaginative play and role-playing.

Playing is indeed an activity where children enjoy and gain various learnings. The opportunities and experiences where they use their senses and curiosity become an outlet where they express their confidence, artistic quality, and imagination. The Little Cottage, a childcare in Carlton, provides a fantastic learning environment filled with plenty of activities that foster the kids’ imagination.  As the child engages in a play, a fantasy world is created and it is in the said ‘world’ where they create their make-believe things using their different toys and some harmless items found at home. It is where they apply the things they experienced or observed, and it is also an opportunity for them to make their dreams of becoming a superhero or playing as a Disney princess come alive! It is through this imaginative play and this magical world where they can express their interpretation and understanding about the real world and at the same time, where their hopes and dreams materialize.

Girls tend to dress mum clothes and accessories, and some even wear their mummies makeup. Boys tend to wear dad’s outfits and become drawn to their dad’s interests. The kids imitating their parents develop their listening, speaking, and overall language skills. The pretend plays allow them to use their body language in expressing their roles in their make believe plays. They mimic the dialogs of their favourite superheroes and cartoon characters. They imitate and reenact some scenarios from situations that happened within the family. Children love costume parties too where they wear the outfits of their favourite characters and pretend that they’re superheroes, princesses and heroines. Some even love to wear the uniforms of certain professions. Imitating the fantasy roles and real-life personas is a great way to encourage them to hope and aspire. 

In encouraging imaginative plays, parents are a big part in fostering and cultivating their child’s creativity and imagination. The way parents guide and encourage imaginative plays help the kids in expressing their complex thinking, creative intelligence, ability to solve problems and being able to know how to handle social activities and relationships. Through playing, children also learn a lot from disappointments, losing, and frustrations which often provide them with valuable experience and insights. Through pretend plays, the little ones also learn the values of generosity, compassion, and kindness. It is a must that parents constantly guide them, be accessible enough in addressing concerns and answering questions, provide age appropriate activities, and suggest suitable solutions that are at par to the child’s level of understanding. 

Give opportunities and space at home where they can do pretend play and make sure to include this as a part of their early learning. Guide them but do not restrict their imagination. Small items at home become things that your kids can use in their make-believe plays. A small box becomes a toy car, blankets become their makeshift houses, and paper bags become hats or something that they can use when they play like shopping! 

Make time to play with your little ones to encourage creativity and communication. Although preschoolers are able to engage in a lot of plays during kindergarten,  playing with your kiddies becomes a great bonding moment filled with so much love and learning experiences! 

Imaginative and pretend plays do not only boost the child mentally and emotionally, but it develops his social and psychomotor skills as well especially when engaging physical activities and encounters that require dialogs and communications. When they are in a pretend play that requires mobility, they become more flexible and agile, and also enhance their fine motor skills. It’s also definitely a stress-relief activity for the tykes!

Imaginative play offers a good practice about life and in learning certain life skills and handling different life situations. Imaginative and pretend plays utilize lots of imageries and dramatics that fill the child’s early years with so much opportunity to develop their overall growth. Play brings so much happiness and fun to a child indeed, but it is also an opportunity that molds them holistically as a person.



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