It has been found that when young children use their imaginations in play, they are more creative, they experience increased positive outcomes at School and develop a strong problem-solving approach to learning and life.
Here are 5 benefits of Imaginative Play for your young child:
Imaginative play allows your child to express both positive and negative feelings. It provides them with a safe and comfortable platform to work through these feelings and begin to make sense of them.
Children can expand their vocabulary and experiment freely with words in their own space and time. By pretend playing with others, children begin to understand that words give them the power to communicate, direct and guide play and, begin to initiate friendships.
Children express themselves both verbally and non-verbally through imaginative play. Working with art materials like crayons, scissors, paintbrushes and play dough promotes fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. Gross motor skills are also developed through experimentation with percussion, dancing, mural painting or large construction projects, like building a box city.
Imaginative play fosters mental growth by creating opportunities for trying out new ideas, ways of thinking and problem solving. In pretend-play, children face a variety of problems to solve such as, Who will cook the dinner? What kind of shop will we set up? and will use important thinking skills that they’ll use throughout their lives, to solve these problems.
When children engage in pretend play, they’re actively experimenting with the social roles of life. Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, a lecturer and researcher in child development, explains: “Imaginative play has the greatest impact on the development of key skills that are important for children’s success with peers. When playing creatively with their friends, your child learns to co-operate and compromise.”
She adds that it encourages children to participate in social activities and to understand social relationships.
This form of play encourages children to learn how to interact socially and develop social cues by experimenting with eye contact, using different tones and emotions.
At Dinky Di Children’s Learning Centres, we provide inclusive play spaces for children that encourage imaginative play, freedom of expression and the opportunity to explore, investigate and discover.