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Encouraging imaginative play

(8 Posts)
BornToFolk Mon 12-Oct-09 14:52:18

DS is two tomorrow. He doesn't do a lot of imaginative play. The most he'll do is pretend to feed a toy or that the toy is doing something. His cousin is 6 months older and has been doing imaginative play for ages. She's constantly pretending to be a ballerina, or a fairy, or acting things out with her toys, or playing shops.

DS got a set of play food for his birthday. He wants to open the boxes to see what's inside or fill the bottles with actual water. When offered a plastic sandwich, he bit it. hmm

I know most of it is just his personality but what can I do to encourage a bit more pretend play? I feel like I've let him down a bit as I'm not a very creative person myself and struggle with being imaginative.

Dalrymps Mon 12-Oct-09 14:56:18

Sounds pretty normal to me, ds is 2 at end of oct and is pretty much the same. Ime girls are faster at things like this...

We got a tea set for ds and we make cups of tea with him, some times he joins in, some times he doesn't.

We 'brum' cars together and crash them in to each other.

He wears my rubber gloves and pretends to be 'handy manny' from tv.

Does he have a favourite character you could help him dress up as?

Ds likes to pretend to dust with the feather duster, maybe you could get him to 'help' you with chores?

AMumInScotland Mon 12-Oct-09 15:05:25

It sounds perfectly normal to me - I've only got a DS so don't know if girls are generally more into it at that age, but DS was closer to 3 before he really pretended stuff with toys. He copied stuff I did before that, but it wasn't really imaginative play, just "putting things into other things" - it was pretend food into pan into oven, but could just as easily have been shape-sorters or anything else.

Best not to fret about it - he'll either do it or not! DS now has just as much imagination and creativity as anyone else, so I don't think it relates to that in the long run.

Hulababy Mon 12-Oct-09 15:10:42

DD was very into imaginative play very early. My little godson is 2 later this month and he is still not really doing it much.

One way to encourage it is to model the play yourself.

So get out the dolls and teddies, get out the toy kitchen and play food and have a tea party together.

Give a running commentary as you do it - this models the kind of language used with the play.

When youa re doing household tasks, have mini versions for copying - a small bowl of water and a couple of plastic cups and plates could occupy DD for ages; or a water and some hankies for washing.

Pretend iron/ironing boards, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, etc are good too.

BornToFolk Mon 12-Oct-09 15:16:17

Thank you, that is reassuring. If it's just in his personality to not enjoy imaginative play, that's fine, I just feel like I'm not doing something with him that I should be, IYKWIM. My SIL does load of imaginative play with my niece, which is probably why she's so into it but my imagination just isn't up to it!

Thanks for the suggestion, Dalrymps. You've reminded me that DS does "help" with the cleaning - I never thought of that as imaginative. He's also got a Bob the Builder style hat so I'll try and encourage a bit of play acting with that.

Hulababy Mon 12-Oct-09 15:17:57

BTW definitely don't need to worry. I work in a Y1 class and I have to model imaginative and role typ eplay with 5 and 6 year olds; so nearly 2y is definitely not behind.

Dalrymps Mon 12-Oct-09 15:30:41

I agree, no need to worry smile

I had a metting with a speech and language therapist today (follow up check up from eating issues he had/has). I told him what imaginative play he does and she said it was prefectly normal smile

BornToFolk Mon 12-Oct-09 15:40:35

I love Mumsnet! Will let him get on with playing as he wants to then, and just try and encourage a bit more pretendy stuff.

It's never a good idea to compare two children is it? I promised myself I wouldn't do it when DS was born and DN was 6 months old but sometimes I just can't help it...

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