What is imaginary/ Pretend Play?
To be honest, pretend play has many names. Some of these names are imaginative play, creative play, make‐believe play, fantasy play.
Imaginary play is when a child uses their imagination to role play scenarios they have seen, experienced, or would like to experience. It’s a kind of open-ended, unstructured play, with no rules, goals, or results – except that kids learn a lot along the way.
There is no limit to what can be considered imaginative play, as long as your child is using their imagination and sometimes props to act out the scenarios.
What are the benefits of imaginative play?
Imaginative play allows kids to relax, let go, and just be kids.
Experts believe that this kind of real play can do a lot for kids’ development, improving their social and language skills, boosting their creativity and problem-solving abilities, keeping them active, and (most importantly) making them happy.
What is the best way to encourage them to PRETEND play? We believe that you should let them imitate what you are doing you can do this by:
1. Cooking an imaginary meal.
Help your little one get into the role of future chef by laying out cooking equipment and “ingredients”. Let them serve you up a meal, and prepare to pretend that it is delicious and the best you've had.
2. Plant up a play garden.
These might be imaginary vegetable gardens, but your child can still have fun watering and picking their fresh produce.
3. Run a shop.
Imagine if your child owned a shop, what would they sell? Help your child stock their shop, and pretend to be a keen customer, by using play money to buy their products..