Imagination is essential to help kids learn critical lifelong skills. Nearly all kids use the power of imagination to turn a box or piece of cloth into a fort or superhero cape. They may spend hours playing make-believe, pretending everyday objects are something else. While play may seem like an ordinary part of childhood, it is crucial for kids’ development. Imaginative play helps kids develop the creativity and problem-solving skills they will use as adults. Adults should encourage this type of play as much as possible to give kids the opportunity to grow and learn through imagination.
Imaginative play, also called dramatic play, playing pretend or make-believe, refers to kids playing without set rules or structure. This method of play allows kids to practice their social skills by mirroring the way others interact, leading to a better understanding of social norms. Playing pretend is such a vital part of child development because it helps kids build critical decision-making, cognitive and social skills.
When kids play pretend by role-playing as other characters, they develop empathy and understanding for others by practising what it’s like to be someone else. Pretending also helps kids’ self-esteem, giving them the confidence to be anything they want. When kids play pretend with others, they work on cooperation, negotiation, collaboration and sharing responsibilities. Pretend play is an excellent way for children to test their boundaries, learn to control impulses and experiment with social interaction.
At The Little Gym, the secret sauce to our camps is creative themes of imaginative play – using fun directional music and voice driven activities, we create some serious fun activities for children in simple ways!