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Importance Of
Imaginative Play

In imaginative play, your child pretends to be another person. This happens naturally during his play as he acts out situations for pure enjoyment.

Imaginative Play

Developing Your Child's Skills

Play is an excellent way of developing your child. He will often use role play to develop his imagination.

He may also develop his...

  • Manipulative skills
  • Social skills
  • Emotional skills
  • Sharing skills
  • Self-confidence and feeling of security
  • Language and communication skills

As you think of planning suitable imaginative play for your child, you should think about how he needs to be encouraged to communicate such as...

  • Listening
  • Looking... understanding what is being communicated through body language, such as the nod of the head or a smile
  • Talking... being talked to and talking with you or other people
  • Writing and drawing – provide examples of signs, marks etc. Provision of paper and pencils will encourage him to communicate by putting marks on paper.

Knowledge and Understanding could be covered by...

  • A discussion of how boats are made
  • Drawing maps during role-play to show where he might sail the boat
  • Making boats from different kinds of trays and testing them in water tray.

Mathematics could be covered by...

  • Talking about 3-D shapes used to make the shapes e.g. cylinders and cubes

  • Setting a maximum number of sailors in a boat and illustrating with a drawing

  • Making and selling tickets for the boat... use of money
  • Putting the boat in the water tray and asking him to put a specified number of play people in each.

Examples of Child-Led Imaginative Activities

  • Books and stories
  • Sand and water play
  • Painting and drawing
  • Play dough
  • Small world play such as play Mobil or lego
  • Puppets or dolls.
** A hat is one of the most essential parts of an imaginative play. By offering your child a box of variety of hats he will be able to role play many different characters. **

Creating a Home Corner to Encourage Imaginative Play

Resources that should be provided to reflect other cultures include...

  • Clothes and hats
  • A range of cooking utensils
  • Artefacts, such as furniture

Points To Consider When Setting Up A Home Corner

Resources should reflect a multi-cultural society and help your child to recognise, understand and value the differences between them.

Explain the reasons for resources supplied so that he gets an understanding of them.

Provide dressing-up clothes that do not specify gender... for example a female police officer or a female fireman.

Safety Of Equipment

You should make sure that all equipment provided is safe for your child to use. You should check it regularly before your allow him to use it and should be repaired or replaced when necessary. If possible all equipment should comply with the required safety standards.

Remember that...

  • Clothes should be kept on hangers and regularly cleaned and mended
  • Equipment must be checked for rough or sharp edges
  • Beads and necklaces should be safely strung and not made from materials such as seeds or glass that could be swallowed easily.

Children With Special Needs

Always consider a child with special needs when setting up an imaginative play area. A child in a wheelchair will need plenty of space, while a child with visual impairment may need textured and brightly coloured equipment.

Click here to learn more about how play activities lead to happier and healthier children.

See Also...

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