The importance of imaginative play

Imaginative Play for Children

You’d be surprised to find out how playing make-believe can help your little one develop many important and diverse skills!

A child’s job is a simple one – play! But you’d be surprised to find out that it can help your little one develop many important and diverse skills too! Here are 3 ways playing make-believe can benefit your little one.

Helps your child understand empathy
When your little one engages in even the simplest forms of imaginative play like playing with figurines, they are able to put themselves or their toys in other people’s perspectives. Your little one learns to project different kinds of emotions and personalities, and anticipate actions. This may contribute to your toddler’s social and emotional intelligence as they grow older.

Teaches your child about themselves
Imaginative play doesn’t mean your child completely becomes someone else. Most of the time, your little one subconsciously injects their own personality, habits and behaviours into the characters they’re pretending to be. This helps them (and you too, mum) learn about their like and dislikes, fears, abilities, and interests!

Develops complex social and thinking skills
You can use imaginative play as a teaching method to help your little one understand social interactions. If your little one accidentally hurt another child, ask them to put themselves in the other child’s position and how they would feel if it had happened to them instead. Your little one can then learn how to identify and process social cues, and adapt to different personalities and social environments.

As long as your little one is learning, have fun with it! Everything is a lesson in disguise, and you can explore more ideas and advice about imaginative play on Mummy Talk Episode 2 that discusses Creative Play!