Loving imaginative play

A dog and a cat joined us at breakfast today.
We convinced some chirping birds on a nearby rooftop to fly down to the high chair tray too.
I fed a goat some carrots.
DD and I took a fun ride on an safari animal train. 
It was my birthday! I blew out imaginary candles and cut imaginary birthday cake for everyone.
All in a single morning. [DD came up with all the ideas, our part was only as the willing participants.]
Yesterday evening, I came home to find a couple of galloping horses and running cheetahs in the living room. Who knows what’s in store this evening? 😉

Children learn a lot from dramatising events from their daily as well as fantasy lives. When your toddler invents a scenario and plot line and gives it characters…, he develops social and verbal skills.

He’ll work out emotional issues as he replays scenarios that involve feeling sad, happy, frightened or safe. Imagining himself as a superhero, a horse or a wizard makes him feel powerful and teaches him that he’s in charge — he can be anyone he wants. He’s also practising self-discipline he’ll be making the rules up himself or with a friend (the intricate rules children work out between them always astounds adults).
He also develops his understanding of cause and effect as he imagines how a frog or a dog would behave in a particular situation.

Perhaps most important, creating imaginary situations and following them through to a conclusion teaches your child to think creatively and solve problems. In one study, not only did children who were imaginative when they were young tend to keep this quality as they got older, but they became better problem-solvers as well. Tested later in life, early “imaginators” had more resources to draw on when it came to coping with challenges and difficult situations, such as what to do if they found they’d forgotten a book they needed for school that day.

– Excerpt from “Encouraging your child’s imagination” on Babycentre. Click here to read the full article.

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