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Mumsnetters share their imaginative play tips and ideas with The LEGO Group(173 Posts)
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Whether it’s an indoor fort made of cushions, playing pretend shops or having an intense car race around the living room, learning through play is a great way for children to tap into their imagination. The LEGO Group and LEGO Foundation have launched an online platform called ‘Build the Change’ to encourage children to get creative (while having fun) when thinking about the environment, climate change and biodiversity. This is why The LEGO Group would love to hear your tips for getting your children involved in creative imaginative play.
Here’s what The LEGO Group has to say: "Everybody loves to play, especially children but we know it can be hard to make the time for it. Play is not only super fun but it’s a great way for our children’s brain to develop and to learn new skills and knowledge, especially if play is centred around a topic – such as biodiversity or climate change. Build the Change is a really great opportunity for you to play with your child/ren in a really creative way and hear from them what they think about these topics. Create the space and time – it’ll be worth it!!"
Do you have a fail-safe activity that your children enjoy every time? How do you tease your children away from video games and encourage them to invent their own fun? Do you find it easy to keep them interested in creative play? Do you have tips or ideas for encouraging imaginative play that you can share with other parents? Do you have to inspire your kids to play creatively or do they use their own imagination to dream up new games? How does your child explore the world through imaginative play?
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We enjoyed Nerf gun quizzes during lockdown. I put sticky notes on the wall with answers to questions I read out. The kids had to fire at the right answer.
My kids all vary with how "good" they are at coming up with their own imaginative play but with a bit of encouragement they all do enjoy getting into it. Sometimes it is about setting up a few props to encourage them rather than setting aside a specific time for imaginative play. So leaving a notepad, pencil and perhaps a piece of paper saying MENU on it alongside the play kitchen toys is often enough for them to initiate playing "cafe". The same for dressing up clothes - leave a few out and see what happens. My son didn't particularly like role play type imaginative play but would engage for ages in messy play using his imagination - so shaving foam and dinosaurs was always a hit! So I think its about having a few resources available to kids and also being there to support when needed is great for imaginative play.
I think a good route to imaginative play, is to encourage them to create their own versions or their favourite games. Harnessing that imagination. From creating word games, to board games and physical games.
My 4yr old & I started off by creating a disabled friendly version of Hide & Seek (as I'm disabled myself). It's called "I think you are..."
I stay sat down and cover my eyes, counting to 20. She hides somewhere in either the same room or the next and my job is to call out my guesses
"I think you are.....behind the door?!"
"Under the table?!"
Obviously I usually know where she is as she's never quiet(!) but she doesn't know that and it can still be really fun.
From this, she (who is now 6) now loves to create her own games, even her own Wordsearches and crosswords.
She has recently created a 'Marble Run' with her Lego along with a Hamster Maze!
All it took was to plant that seed by showing her that you can create a game out of anything and adjust it to fit any situation!
A personal tip for Lego -
A Bookcase/rectangular shelving unit laid down lengthways, with Lego Baseplates stuck down with blu tack or removable strips, makes for a fabulous Lego building station! Currently being used for DD's Lego Friends Heartlake City! It enables her to not only build the sets and play with them, but also to adjust and display them all at once! 👍🏻
For us, anything messy in a tuff tray is a big hit. I let my child choose any of her small world figures and play sets and she constructs her own games with slime, water, sand, homemade fake snow... you name it!
The latest craze for my 11 year old is stop motion animation - he loves being creative by making films with all sorts of things from lego to baking - he directs us and takes ages getting the right camera angles.
We enjoy a bit of Lego, making our own mad models, and games with Playmobil or a nice game of draughts with sweets and you get to eat the ones you win.
My 9 month old loves finding things. I hide her favourite toys in a bucket or zipped bag and she enjoys pulling them out.
Lego is actually the best toy for helping my DCs use their imagination. My DH has never grown out of it, either, and loves nothing better than spreading all the Lego on the table and asking the DCs what they’d like him to help them build. There have been all sorts of creations from car garages to mansions to jungles.
Taking the kids for a nature walk to collect leaves, berries and twigs to make a collage when they get home. Owl pictures are our favourite!
Moving the coffee table to one side to make a big space works well, the children end up putting on a performance or gymnastics display or playing the floor is lava.
Mine are a built older and glued to screens. During first lockdown we bought down the big pots of lego and they built a lego city with tall towers and shops. It took up my lounge and I had to ignore the mess for a few weeks but they really enjoyed it and adding to it.
I tend to take out toys that are not usually played with together as an invitation for imaginative play. Differences in size seem to help come up with new ways of playing with the toys rather than when they're kept separate or with toys of a similar size/type etc..
Mine love den building. And baking. Both wi excite them and throw them into creativity.
My DS is ASD so can be a challenge to get any creative play out of him - he's currently writing of a book of cubed numbers 'for fun'. Best chance I have to get him to be creative is to talk about animals or read news stories about them. He does love lego and wants lego for Christmas though his older sister said she's going to steal it
I have mastered the 'excited' tone and that really does the trick.
"DS, I have a REALLY good idea that's going to be SO much fun... Why don't we use DVD cases to build a HUGE tower next to the train track... how do YOU think it should be built?"
They do like Lego. We built the models but they ended up taking them apart and build their own things. Often based on the books we’ve been reading.
We have a random 'art' box that all sorts of odds and sods are thrown into. Scrap paper, dyes, old clothes, random lego bits or broken toys, string, paint, interesting looking packaging that son=meting was delivered in. On a boring, rainy day the kitchen table is covered in newspaper and the box comes out and the kids can make whatever they like as messily they like.
I can guarantee my children will all come to play together if i get the craft box out! They love making and doing and we do things like painting, claymodelling, making cards etc. I think anything that gets them to use their imagination is good.
I always draw around shapes with different coloured pens so she could learn her colours as well as her shapes but she loves playing with her tea set making cups of tea for us and putting play buns on her little plates, I always ask her for 2 sugars an a bit of milk for me please .
The kids love everything they can get their hands on. Doesn't need to be a board game, can be a made up game. The eldest loves craft stuff, anything from painting, stickers etc. Hide and seek is also another favourite. We got a couple of Sylvanian Families sets, and we use this for roleplaying and encouraging imagination.
I got a set of basic wooden blocks (different shapes and colours) years ago, and it is the most used item in the house. The kids include them in every imaginative game alongside playmobil or Sylvanians, or to prop up things around their room, and the youngest uses them to build things. Being wooden they can take being thrown around and bashed! Very simple and cheap but great buy.
My kids have always been quite happy to lose themselves in a box of Lego.
I’m a great believer in not over scheduling children’s time just let them be, that way they get a chance to use their own initiative to amuse themselves..quite the life skill --I may also be a lazy git--
I find I have to be enthusiastic about what ever DD is playing for her to really get into it. She's great at coming up with her own ideas but needs willing and enthusiastic playmates to stick to it
My baby boy is still pretty young so now is a great time to fuel imaginative play. I try to fuel his imagination using as many sustainable items and bright colours as I can so I'll often recycle supermarket packaging to store things like duplo bricks and will then help him create a model of an item like a fire engine or car that he has seen in one of his story books!