My 9-year-old girl loves to play alone in her room. I peek in at her during her playtime, and I notice she enjoys imaginative play the most. Because her sibling is 10 years older than she is, she has gotten comfortable with playing by herself and using her imagination to create her own world. As an only child, I also did this when I was younger. It was so much fun being able to create a whole new universe of my own. I could play for hours and hours.
Imaginative play is a very important part of the growing process. It is this imagination and creativity that is important for young minds. Being able to pretend and create scenarios helps shape the way your child may deal with certain instances as they get older.
My physician often asks me about my daughter’s playing habits during our check-up visits and is always happy that I am able to report that my daughter uses her imagination when she plays. It’s a critical part of her growth and development.
Enjoying imaginative play with your little one is also just as important. You can help your child learn everyday things during creative and imaginative play. For instance, playing imaginative games can help with socialization and problem solving. My daughter and I play Bank Teller in which she is the teller at the bank and I am the customer. We use play money during our play sessions, and while we are playing, she is learning how to count money. She is also learning how to treat others well during social situations. Playing Bank Teller also helps her with her math and counting.
We also play imaginative games when we run errands. While grocery shopping, I let us role reverse where she is the mom and I am the child. She holds the list and looks for the items in the grocery store, checking them off each time she finds them. She is learning to look at the cost of things and price comparison shop, which helps her problem solve and deduct. And she loves being the mom pushing the cart.
My daughter is not a fan of cleaning her room, but we make a game out of it using her imagination. She often pretends that she is Cinderella and has to clean up her room completely so that she may go to the Royal Ball that evening. This makes her want to clean her room up extra tidy, and for me, it’s a win-win.
Letting your little one utilize his or her imagination during playtime is one of the best things you can do as a mom. Through their imagination, they share, grow, and can even connect with others. And most of all, their imagination is free! There’s no limit to what they can do or who they can become!