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In this article I’m going to discuss three ways in which imaginative, creative play helps your child grow, develop and process their understanding of the world.
If there’s one thing I love seeing as a parent, it’s when my kids lose track of time because they’re so deeply engrossed in imaginative, creative play. It takes me back to when I was a child and would spend long amounts of time playing out a story in my head while using my toys and dolls as props. The kind of play where you don’t even want to come to dinner because the storyline is just too good!
One of my favorite brands is PLAYMOBIL because their toys really help elicit imaginative play with endless possibilities, so I reached out to them to see if they would be interested in collaborating with us and the boys were ecstatic when they said YES!
The kids got to go to our local Walmart and pick out a PLAYMOBIL toy to share here and meanwhile I’ll be sharing with you the three reasons why I find imaginative play so important for our children’s development.
Interested in buying this fun toy set? Hover over the photo to click through to Walmart to shop!
Yadiel, who is 7, decided on the PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex. He loves building and putting things together, so this set was perfect for him.
Here are three ways in which imaginative play helps your child grow.
1. Imaginative play helps children use their thinking skills
There’s so much that can go into imaginative play that we adults don’t normally notice! The scene is usually set, outfits and costumes are put together, things are built and assembled, and storylines are created.
All of this helps children get into thinking mode where they have to make decisions and figure out a puzzle of sorts so that their story can come together.
One of the reasons I love PLAYMOBIL is for this reason; the kids have to assemble their toys! Yadiel loves him an instruction booklet and checklist which he can go through and feel accomplished with each task being completed.
Putting together toys like this helps his thinking skills as well as his motor skills.
2. Imaginative play helps children work through their emotions
Unlike adults who are able to process and verbalize their emotions easier (well, sometimes!) children work out their feelings through play. I’ve seen this quote several times that says a child won’t come and tell you they’re having a hard time–they’ll come and ask you to play.
I remember when I was a child and would witness bullies at school, I would come home and incorporate what I’d seen into my play. Sometimes I’d have the protagonist defend themselves, or everyone would rally against the bully, or I’d have the bully apologize for what they’d done.
Imaginative play helped me to process emotions that I was feeling but didn’t understand and couldn’t express. As parents we can join in on our child’s play and see what they’re focusing on and then help play out a scene for how they can handle it.
3. Imaginative play helps children to develop social and language skills
Whether they’re playing alone or with others, imaginative play helps children to develop their social and language skills. Their characters have conversations and speak back and forth to one another, and the kids as well have to communicate with one another in order to convey how they want the story to unfold.
There’s lots of taking turns, negotiating and cooperation that goes into imaginative play. All of this prepares them for brainstorming and working with others. PLAYMOBIL toys really help develop both cognitive and social/emotional skills.
How cool is this fantasy based PLAYMOBIL set? I love that PLAYMOBIL has such strong attention to detail and is such a high quality toy that endures lots and lots of play (we’ve got sets from several years ago that honestly still look new). That’s saying something in our house with two rough-and-tumble kids.
I only named a few but imaginative play has so many benefits that help your children grow, learn, and develop. And it’s so fun for kids! They do it naturally without our intervention but it’s a great way to bond with your child, understand their current emotions and to help them to process their experiences and feelings.
The other thing I love about PLAYMOBIL is how accessible it is! We get ours from our local Walmart in the toy section.
We hope you enjoyed this post and I definitely recommend checking out PLAYMOBIL the next time in you’re in the market for toys that encourage imaginative play for your kids!