Developing Baby’s Imagination Through Play

Toddlers don’t learn the same way adults do. Play is fun and stimulates their mind to be open to new concepts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors “prescribe” a little amount of solo play every day to spark inventive thinking. Why? Because kids can and should learn how to tap into their imagination. A particularly creative child shines at more than painting a picture or narrating a story.

Studies show that creative people who work in the arts and science can better tell what others may feel or think, can see issues from several viewpoints, and have extraordinary self-control because they’re able to come up with several solutions to a problem.

But when do babies start to explore? Between birth and one year, babies show more interest in the world all the time. Play is the predominant way that babies learn, develop, and explore the environment. As your baby explores through play her imagination grows.

And as her imagination develops, she starts to experiment with new sights, sounds, activities, and objects. She’ll also learn to solve basic problems and begin to understand her feelings as well as those of other people. So, engaging her in play activities that develop her creativity is part of this exploration period.

What Is Imaginative Play?

Imaginative play in babies

Via Pexels

Play is part of the developmental culture and a critical aspect of your baby’s health and development. According to Healthline, play:

But what is imaginative play? Will you have to buy specific toys and crafting materials?

Imaginative play is simply role play. It’s helping your child make sense of the world. You act out several plots and roles. They learn to express negative and positive feelings, discover choices, and experience the outcome of several choices in a safe controlled surrounding.

Imaginative play is also known as pretend play. Examples you may have heard of include, camp under the living room stars, slay the dragon, and save the princess.

RELATED: Gift Ideas For Toddler Girls That Will Spark Imagination & Creativity

Imaginative, open-ended play with both parents and peers is how kids learn to socially interact, communicate, respect others, and balance their emotions with those of others. In addition, imaginative play:

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Enhances understanding of literature
  • Lowers disruptive behaviors
  • Improves emotional competence
  • Betters academic skills
  • Allows them to practice and obtain sharing and negotiation skills
  • Helps them apply logical reasoning skills
  • Enhances their focus and concentration
  • Helps them articulate and explore feelings

Play Ideas For Imaginative Play

Imaginative play in toddlers

Via Pexels

According to Parents, it is important to encourage active pursuits. Imagination is a muscle, which, if not exercised will waste away. For instance, if your child watches TV, they take up other people’s ideas instead of creating their own. Try both active outdoor or indoor activities.

Indoor activities

  • Viewing photos of different places and people. Talk to your toddler about what he sees.
  • Reading books and sharing stories or singing nursery rhymes together using actions.
  • Listening to several styles and types of music and get your child involved. Raising Children suggests that you make- do with a bucket and wooden sticks for a drum. You could also use a plastic jar with uncooked rice as a shaker.
  • Play peekaboo using objects such as tea towels and scarves.
  • Sit your kiddo in front of a mirror. Young infants can stare at the mirror while lying on their tummies or their sides.
  • Put open books and toys in front of your child.
  • Create a treasure box for your child, filled with daily objects and natural items for your child to feel and touch.
  • Give your baby tons of safe supplies. Invest in dress-up hats and clothes, non-toxic markers, finger-paint, play dough, and clays that won’t harm the baby if eaten.
  • Engage your toddler in conversation. Ask questions that prompt them to convey their ideas and thoughts. Tell them engaging stories that let him give you an ending- or better yet several endings.
  • Imitating sounds– Make the ma-ma, ba-ba, and the coos your kiddo makes. Smile back when your baby smiles. It reinforces socio-emotional skills.
  • Hold your little one in varying positions showing him the world from different perspectives, holding their tiny, little feet, and moving them as if they were riding a bike.
  • Show your little bright, colorful objects in several shapes. Let them hold the objects, put them in their mouth, and explore them. Just make sure that they’re harmless.

Outdoor activities

How to spark creativity in toddlers using play

Via Pixabay
  • Check outdoors for new and interesting natural items. Let your kiddo probe them with her senses. She could taste a new fruit or feel how rough a seashell is.
  • Take a nature walk in the park, at the beach or playground. Just anywhere where she can see different things to hear, see, and feel.
  • Give your little champ tummy time on a mat outside. It lets them see the outdoors in a fresh way.
  • Try messy play with mud, sand, clay, paints, or playdoh with non-toxic materials.

NEXT: Cool and Creative Activities Your Toddler Will Love (and You Will, Too!)


Raising Children, Parents, Healthline

Meghan Markle's Second Pregnancy Is Easier This Time

Meghan Markle’s Second Pregnancy Is Easier This Time

About The Author