Toddler Imaginary Play

Toddler Imaginary Play - fun easy and cheap play ideas for your preschooler

We can nurture and develop a preschooler’s imagination and awareness of the world around them by giving our preschooler time for play.

They also need plenty of time to just make stuff up by themselves. Watch creativity come out of nothing, but it all takes plenty of time.

Make things available, suggest things, and even play with them at times. Just make sure they have plenty of time for puttering and idling. For it’s when they are dawdling, inspiration may hit for some new play.

Here are some ideas for toddler imaginary play time:

1. Drive-in. Pretend your home is a Drive-in Restaurant. Have Mom and kids sit in the car while Dad comes out (perhaps on roller skates) to serve hot dogs, drinks, and fruit. Play your favorite CDs in the car. Make sure you give Dad a big tip!

2. Have a Halfy Birthday Party. For your toddler imaginary play try and hold a “halfy” birthday party for each preschooler in your family (to determine the date it’s exactly six months after their real birthday). Make sure you remember each preschooler’s halfy birthday and serve half a birthday cake. Sing “Halfy Birthday to you.” Give the child a half dollar for a present. (Half Birthday cake recipe: For the cake, you use a 9 inch round pan. Cut it in half and stack it using frosting between layers and all over the outside. For candles use their birthday number plus one half of a candle.) (The idea is from Ginny McMillan.)

3. “I’m Proud to be an American” Parade. Pour through your local thrift shops in search of old dance costumes, vintage clothes, and funny looking hats for a dress-up chest. Invite other kids and parents over for a kid performed parade down the sidewalk or cul-de-sac. (The idea is from Lisa Hemmingway Harris.)

4. Silverware People. Knives are the dads, forks are the moms, and spoons are the babies. Allow your preschooler to use your silverware, if they are old enough. Otherwise use smooth children’s toy silverware to form imaginary families that talk to one another. You can show your preschooler how to make a “swing” for their baby spoons by using the belts attached to the high chair. Let the belts hang down below the seat for a swing. Whee!

5. Skating Rink. Set up a room for your toddler imaginary play, without carpeting, like a skating rink. For skates allow the preschooler to wear the cover-ups for shoes that doctor’s use. Cover the room with aluminum foil and tape it down. The preschooler can make tickets, sell tickets, and have ice skating shows. Make a muff by rolling up a scarf around your hands or cutting the end off of a lunch bag.

6. Swiss Alps Day. Set aside a day for a pretend trip to the Swiss Alps. Make the Swiss Alps out of your family room couch cushions. Serve Swiss cheese or yogurt for lunch. Have a yodeling contest. In fact, you could yodel your way through your day. If you have your “Swiss Alps Day” on a day after a fresh snowfall, you can make Snow Ice Cream.

7. Winter in July. Cover a small blow up pool with whipped cream (won’t sting a preschooler’s eyes). Fill a bucket with white balloons (made into water balloons) so the preschoolers can have a summer snowball fight. Your preschoolers can make snowflakes out of paper ahead of time and you can hang them in the trees. Set up a dome tent and cover it with an old sheet that has ice blocks drawn on it. Insert a 20 pound block of ice inside the tent and you have an igloo on a hot summer day. The ice block will last for days, by the way. (Idea is from Lisa Hemmingway Harris.)

8. Box Heaven. Collect and save up ten or fifteen different sizes of boxes (make sure all the staples and nails are out of them). Have your child stack them from biggest to smallest, then smallest to biggest. Some of the boxes can be very tiny. Allow them to play with the boxes and discover. See more toddler box ideas...

Thank you for looking at this toddler imaginary play article, let others know if you have other ideas.

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