Promoting Imaginative Play in Children
By Andrew Loh
....“A little girl is cooking some food in her imaginative kitchen and
learning numerous lessons in the process”
....“A young boy is
constructing a home for himself and his family and later asking everyone
in the home to see the house he has just built”
.... “Two young
boys are role-playing the role of two super heroes who are trying to
save the world from enemies”
What is common with all these seemingly childish activities? All these three instances
of child's play relate to a type of play called “imaginative play”. Imaginative
play is a vital activity in a child's early age. During a session of imaginative
play, the most vital learning takes place in child's brain and its
interiors. What a child learns with this brain-based learning is an
ensured gain in many skills and capabilities such as:
Imaginative or pretend play is an important type of
play that a child creates and sets in motion to learn a series of
critical skills. Pretend or imaginative play involves a series of
An enhancement to convert objects and actions
in a symbolic and pretending manner.
Development of social,
personal and dynamic skills that involve conversation, dialogue and
intense negotiation processes.
Streamlining of logic and thinking skills.
Improvising many other brain skills.
You can find some ideas on
games activities for imaginative play here!
Most parents still feel that
play time is just a tool for children to relax and soothe their minds
and bodies. They also feel that excessive play is detrimental to
classroom performance. In addition, parents still believe that learning
music, dancing and other similar activities are good for sharpening
brain activities of children. However, pretend or imaginative play is
the best tool to boost brain development among children in addition to
enhancing children's overall growth. Apart from these advantages,
parents may also help their children to get ready to go their schools at
a later stage.
Now, let us look at some of the most beneficial advantages of role and
Enhance social skills -
Two critical advantages of imaginative play are finding out most
appropriate social roles and finding out newer ways to converse and
interact with other people. Social skills are very critical for a
child's future survival. With imaginative play, your children would be
able to learn how to share, how to take turn in a queue, how to listen
to others with patience, and live in an amicable manner with peers.
Enhance intellectual and academic aptitude skills - abstract
thinking and pattern making are as important and critical as any other
brain skills. Other skills that children might learn are symbolic and
representational thinking. Symbolic thinking involves counting numbers,
reading pictures, and relating both of together to create meanings.
Boosting communication and linguistic skills - Imaginative play
involves talking and conversing with fictional and imaginary characters.
It also helps children develop conversational skills with meaning. As
children talk more, they will also develop their vocabulary skills and
speaking with conviction.
Emotional and intellectual development - Imaginative play is an excellent
tool for children to vent their feelings - happiness and sorry, joy and sadness
and excitement and frustration. When children vent and explore their feelings, the
immediate benefit is creating a stable and robust mind accompanied by
sound and healthy brain. With meaningful play, children also learn how
to take control of dicey situations to their advantage.
Enhance self-confidence and self-esteem - In many of the imaginative plays,
children usually don the role of an adult who possess the abilities to
solve problems. Imaginative play assists children solve their own
problems by imitating the mind of an adult. As they solve problems in
their mind, they also develop a real life ability to find solutions to
Above all, imaginative play is a fun-filled
exercise too. Imaginative play is a vital activity of a child's life.
Here are other important benefits of imaginative play:
Raise imagination skills - With role-playing and imaginative play, children
always develop a capability to imagine things, situations, scenarios,
and images that eventually helps them perform better in areas of
academics that relate to logic, fine arts and music.
Acquire leadership skills - One of the prominent advantages of imaginative play
is acquiring leadership skills to lead people and exploit existing
situations to clear advantages. Leadership skills do not come so easily
to all children. Extended imaginative play can help children build this
skill so that they can use it in real-life situations.
There are many ways your children you can engage in imaginative play. They can use
innumerable toys and play-sets to play imaginatively or they can just
role-play with other children to create life-like situations. Whatever
the types and forms they choose, one thing is certain - it helps them
grow as productive and smart individuals. Continue to read
Promoting Imaginative Play in Children - Practical Suggestions.