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The Importance of Imaginative Play & How to Encourage it on the Road

All children have got an amazing imagination. They take joy in simple things such as turning a piece of paper into an airplane or taking out all your pots and pans to make their own band.

As a parent, you both must encourage and support this type of pretend play as young children learn about the world around them predominantly by observing, imagining, and actively doing.

That being said, when on the road, you may be limited in both time and space when it comes to imaginative play.

However, don’t fret. There are countless fun activities that you can do while traveling that will inspire a love of learning in your child through the wonderous act of pretend play.

Keep reading to discover why imaginative play is so important for your child’s development. Plus, how your child can enjoy it while on the road.

What are the benefits of imaginative play?

benefits of imaginative play
benefits of imaginative play

As well as being lots of fun for your child, the imaginative play has many educational benefits such as:

  • It encourages imagination and creativity. By absorbing themselves in a game of pretend play of their creation, your child is not only exercising their brain but also training it to think creatively.
  • It supports their emotional development. As your child pretends to be diverse characters such as a teacher, a mom, or even a firefighter, they are exploring different social and emotional roles of life.
  • It improves their communication and language skills. How often have you overheard your child talking to themselves when playing and being surprised by what they say? Pretend play offers the perfect opportunity for your child to use and improve upon their language skills.
  • To develop problem-solving skills. Whether they need to decide what materials they need to create their own shop or decide upon rules for a new game, pretend play can help develop their problem-solving skills without them even realizing it.
  • To enhance physical development. As well as cognitive benefits, imaginative play also helps to promote physical development through movement and hand-to-eye coordination.

3 Practical, imaginative play ideas

  1. Be a shop keeper

Children love to imitate adults, with one of the most popular scenarios for young children being the act of pretending to be a shop keeper.

You don’t need to invest in a huge wooden grocery shop to make this activity come to life; all you need is a pretend till with money and a selection of wooden toy foods. You could even use real food if you wanted to.

If you do want to treat your child, Maisonette offers some beautifully crafted wooden toy food items that last a lifetime and be cherished by your child for many years to come.

  1. Playdoh

Yes, playdoh can be messy, but you don’t need a lot of space to set it up, and the opportunities for imaginative play are endless.

Make pretend food for a café, create a garden, make different shapes, form letters, or even the simple act of rolling and cutting the dough to see what they can create.

Plus, you don’t even have to buy playdoh; you can easily make your own with a few simple ingredients.

  1. Make a car wash

The beauty of making a car wash for your child to play with is that this will help develop their imagination and help develop their senses.

You can make a car wash using just a large plastic tub, water, and bubbles. It is that simple. Plus, if you don’t want the mess while on the road, all you need to do is pull over for an hour and let them engage in this activity in the great outdoors.

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