Here are some ideas to help develop children’s imaginative play:

  • provide lots of materials to imagine with.  Different children will be drawn to different things – some like playing at “home”, others like to dress up, others enjoy pretending to be firemen or farmers or …  Following the child’s interests is best at first
  • children can only pretend about things they know about.  So feed the child’s imagination with lots of stories, and chats about real world things.  Chat about what the doctor does, or about where that fish lorry might be going.  Don’t worry about being a bit silly to get the child involved
  • allow a free flow.  If the child thinks that spaghetti goes with ice cream (when pretending!) then that’s fine
  • model imaginative play yourself, and say what you are doing.  “I’m pretending to be a train.  Choo Choo.”

Play@Home has some great games to promote imagination, such as:

  • Animals in the zoo (play@home preschool page 32)
  • Statues (play@home preschool page 42)
  • Stepping Stones (play@home preschool page 44)
  • Tunnelling (play@home preschool page 54)
  • Construction Site (play@home preschool page 74)
  • Bag of surprises (play@home preschool page 76)