Einstein once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, and experts in modern society have tended to agree that unstructured, child led and imaginative play is vital for normal social, emotional and cognitive development in children.
Children naturally want to role-play, and alongside this comes imaginative play. They can be whoever they want to be, and express themselves however they like, whilst playing in this beautiful, safe world of imagination.
It starts at about toddler age, and continues right through to the teenage years. Toddlers start by imagining that one thing is another. For example, a red block is a red sports car, and so on. As parents, we can support imaginative play by providing age-appropriate toys that can be used in a variety of ways. Costumes, recycled materials, building blocks, puppets, play dough and the like, can all be used to build and create imaginative scenes.
Imaginative play offers great value to a child, and also helps to strengthen development of a little ones social and cognitive skills. Encouraging and supporting imaginative play helps to make children smarter, kinder and helps to alleviate their stress as well as build their self-esteem. Plus, let’s not forget one of the greatest benefits, it’s heaps of fun!