We're always looking for ways to spark imagination in our kids. Not only does research show that imaginative play promotes health cognitive growth in children too, it give our kids a good reason to play until their heart’s content!
Here are some of our favorite ideas that have helped our kids create their own stories and let their imagination soar:
1. Indoor/Outdoor Camping
Remember as a child going camping in your backyard or making a tent in your living room? Recreate those fun memories with your children with a kids teepee and an imaginary fire. Sing songs around the campfire and tell stories with a flashlight in the kids teepee tent. Enjoy creating new memories together!
2. Backyard Explorers
What’s it like to be an explorer following a map or a scientist catching bugs? This fun activity is super easy to create and will be so much fun for children. Create a paper bag explorer jacket, toilet paper binoculars, a paper bag map, magnifying glass, insect net, snack and water, and treasure (if needed). Create a fun map instructing your kids to find thing in the yard such as a flower or certain tree. Make it fun and easy for them to find. Have fun on your adventure!
3. DIY Sand Beach
On a day you can’t get to the beach, make your own!! Let your kids drive their cars on the beach, use sand molds, create little towns, a pirate village, and more. The possibilities are endless.
4. Creative Use of Cardboard
Use cardboard to make creative building structures, props, and more. Let your kids build a castle from large cardboard boxes! Create a cardboard box TV out of a large box and allow your children to imagine they are news anchors or TV’s newest movie star! Did you know you can create an adorable kitchenette from cardboard boxes for your children. Add a pot, a spoon, and a few other safe kitchen items for your children to imagine cooking their favorite food. Add a table to your kitchenette and now you can play restaurant! This is such a fun activity!
5. Paint a Mural or Add Wall Decals
Turn any room into a space that nurtures imaginative play. The ideas are endless! A pirate boat? A forest? A castle? An Ocean? Sport Arena? Find your child’s passion and expand upon it!
6. Reading Nook
What better way to increase a child’s imagination that reading? Add a nook that is cute and trendy! We love a kids tee pee in the corner with blankets, pillows, and books! A cozy and fun way to read. Best of all, Mom and Dad have a trendy looking bedroom with the hottest tee pee kids tent, while the kids get to have play! Decorate your kids teepee tent reading area to have a whimsical or rustic feel. The choices are endless!
7. Art Space
Creating an art space for your child will give them the perfect resources and material needs to let their imagination run wild! An awesome idea is to turn one corner of your child’s room into the designated art space. Use buckets for supplies and hang them from a utility rail for easy storage and organization. Also, encourage your child’s creativity by hanging their art. Any easy way to hang art is nail or tack a string up to the wall and use clothespins to hang their art. What will you create on your blank canvas?
Help children experience life and the world we live in through the photo lense. Help set up a corner in your home, hang a sheet, add a chair for your “clients”, and use a camera on a tripod (if you have one). Let your child create picture with stuffed animals, friends, siblings, and family members.
9. When I Grow Up
Help your children make sense of the adult world by creating DIY Play Kits. The kits can be stored in small Tupperware containers or even shoe boxes with labels for each kit. Kits ideas can include police officer, doctor/nurse, post office master, veterinarian, birthday party, etc. You can find items around your home or value stores to complete each kit. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. Dress Up
Create a dress-up box to offer them a chance to imagine whatever they want! Use things you have around your home to add to your dress-up box. The idea is to offer many different items in the box to allow their imagination to run wild! Things to add to your box: Hats, Glasses, Shoes, Fabric, Gloves, Scarves, Grown-up Clothes (Apron or Tie), Costume Jewelry, and other “props”/item from your home (wooden spoons, lunch box, etc).
We hope you are inspired to help your child’s imagination soar! Happy playing!
Have a great idea to share? Please tell us!