Imaginative play is basically when children play different roles acting out scenarios and experiences they may have had. At times children role-play characters they are interested in or they would love to experience. Children practice and experiment with their decision-making skills and how to behave in different social skills and social capacities.
Imaginative play is an open-ended type of a play with no predetermined rules, structure, or anticipated result. Some of the most common imaginative games that kids are involved in include; pretending to be parents, doctors, firefighters, and teachers to highlight a few. Imaginative play is an integral part of children’s lives as it has a myriad of benefits to children. Read on to find out.
Develops imagination and creativity in children
While playing different roles, children can pretend to be anything or anyone. They have a platform to exercise and improve their imaginative powers and creativity as they can dream up storylines from scratch and act them out. They utilize their imaginations and creativity in ways that other types of plays do not encourage.
Imaginary play helps children develop a high level of confidence in their abilities. While kids are role-playing and dreaming up storylines, a response from friends and family significantly boosts their self-esteem.
Promotes social development
In pretend play, children are role-playing the social roles in real life. Additionally, it encourages children to actively participate in social activities while helping them understand social relationships. They also develop social cues and learn how to interact socially.
Enhances language development
Children expand their vocabulary when they experiment freely with words in their own space. They also get the chance to learn different vocabularies from their friends without getting embarrassed when they mispronounce words or if they misuse words.
Improves thinking skills
Pretend play fosters the mental growth in children. Normally, children create different stories in each imaginary play where they try out different ideas and solve different sets of problems. This involves lots of thinking and solutions creation. This, in turn, improves the thinking capacity and enhances thinking skills in children.
Ways to facilitate imaginative play
Leveraging from the benefits mentioned above of imaginary play, it is essential for all parents to encourage this type of game. One of the most effective ways to encourage pretend play is through providing your kid with fun, safe, and simple props and toys to facilitate different imaginary plays.
There is a wide array of props and toys you can provide your kid with to facilitate imaginary playground. Some of the best props you can give them include; pots, cardboard box, old sheets, and plenty more. There is a myriad of toys in the market which you can buy for your kid. However, too specific toys are discouraged as kids do not need a lot of creativity to play with a particular toy. The best practice is to provide a toy or a prop that can be used in multiple ways. Also, you can give them dress-up clothes such as hats, handbags, and masks, to make the game more realistic.