Imaginative play, otherwise referred to as make-believe play is when children role-play experiences they are interested in, such as science class, restaurant, or school. Imaginative play fosters creativity and allows children to learn through play experiences. Imaginative play also gives these children opportunities to learn about other perspectives, helps with fine and gross motor skills, language or social skills, and problem solving.
This type of play allows for parents, children, and other age appropriate peers to work together to explore the world around them while teaching positive behaviors. This can be done by modeling appropriate play for your children or explaining how to play in a positive way. While children are learning how to play in this way, it is beneficial for adults to play alongside children to teach them the ropes of using one's imagination.
Simple ways to incorporate imaginative play could be:
- Having your child use their utensils to cook alongside you during dinner
- Playing with dolls, showing them how to put the baby to sleep or to feed the baby
- Dress-up parties
- Using items around the house as musical instruments
- Turn blocks into a castle where a princess has to be rescued
- Creating a sensory bin of water with sea animals