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Mumsnetters share their imaginative play tips and ideas with The LEGO Group

172 replies

BellaMumsnet · 14/12/2020 11:25

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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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Mumsnetters share their imaginative play tips and ideas with The LEGO Group
OP posts:
Serender · 19/12/2020 23:29

To get DD away from video games, she has several physical hands on type gaming bundles, whether it's crafts, dolls or bubble machines.

To get DD to be more imaginative, she usually just is, because of the new vocab she's constantly learning.

PatrishaPatel · 20/12/2020 00:04

Kids love hide and seek and they never get sick and tired of it lol. Sometimes it is annoying especially when I'm really busy like cooking or cleaning. DD especially gets bossy and always demands 'Mama count!'

bibolda · 20/12/2020 15:33

My daughter currently love the LEGO DOT range, she wants to make her own designed bracelets and I got her the stand for Christmas, so she will be happy, But I was wondering if there will be more, like necklaces? Hair clips? Hairbands? Maybe a Jewelry box would be nice and on the top the kids could keep the dots and inside the base.

AGnu · 20/12/2020 15:50

Our DC have built up a collection of 7 drawers worth of Lego. Between that & our cardboard recycling bag, I don't have to do anything to encourage creative play... In fact, I seem to spend a lot of time actively discouraging it while my entire house gets taken over by cardboard boxes stuck together by masking tape & Lego vehicles or models of assorted wild animals or robots.

DS1, 9yo, says, "We play with our Lego it what you might call eras. For example, we've had a Tree Fu Tom era and we've had 2 dinosaur eras. They can be inspired by programmes, books, Lego clips that we see, or just whatever we want to do. If one of us makes a super-cool model then in a couple of days later they'll just be obsessed with making things to do with that. The era of space has just finished and the era of moving through time is just beginning. Plus the era of robots..."

1969angep · 21/12/2020 10:21

The current obsession here is hide n seek which usually involves constructing hidey holes. They can be made of anything lol

PashleyB · 21/12/2020 11:50

Often it takes a bit of prompting from me - ie suggesting what is happening with the toys. Playing schools or cafes is a regular favourite.

openallthetime · 21/12/2020 12:22

Choose something an object in your living room and try to copy it! Let your imagination run wild.

Asuwere · 21/12/2020 12:35

A simple, easy (& cheap) thing that always entertains my DC for ages is a cardboard box! Gets made into all sorts of things and is coloured, things stuck on, moved about. Great fun and uses lots of imagination.

Ratbagratty · 21/12/2020 12:35

We had a rest hour during lockdown, when mummy and daddy were not available as we needed to rest/jobs etc. They (2 and 4) had to learn to entertain themselves with what was around that day and they still now play happily with anything and their imagination.

Recently I have made them a craft drawer, they can use anything in it without permission on the table. They are still getting used to it but it has sparked off a lot of colouring, cutting and writing.

OnlyToWin · 21/12/2020 12:35

My two were big on imaginative games - they loved playing schools, shops, doctors etc. Each day the playroom would be a whole new world. I still find little books with registers written in them now. So sweet.

starlight36 · 21/12/2020 14:47

Drawing comics and inventing their own board games is a big favourite.
Designing menus for their own cafe is another popular one - some 'interesting' food combinations are generally offered.

Lego is a huge hit. My DS built his own pyramid to re-create some of his favourite scenes from one of the Ninjago series. It took a few attempts to get the right structure but he preserved to build it to last.

gemima27 · 21/12/2020 15:03

we often have a theme to then build from. if using lego, you have to start with just a certain colour and then build from that. or if we are playing with arts and crafts you can only start with a colour and try and make something from that.

ifigoup · 21/12/2020 15:40

The key is to allow them to get bored enough, and not to over-manage their games. (I am bad at both of these so I know I need to practice what I preach!)

ConquestEmpireHungerPlague · 21/12/2020 15:55

I'm a big fan of minimising resources and keeping it simple. I think the digital age has made it difficult to do that - I mean, what kid wants to build something out of stiff card and treasury tags when they can create a whole imaginary world with minecraft or animal crossing - but I do think it really stunts the brain to create only out of what's readily on offer. Likewise, with Lego, I've tried to provide my kids with a mixed - and large - selection of different brick types instead of buying the kits that give instructions to build a specific thing with lots of customised parts. It's cheaper that way too. That said, I saw an advert the other day for a socking great Lego taj mahal and thought it looked fantastic!

Snugabugz · 21/12/2020 16:09

I made an advent calendar full of creative things to do each day in the run up to Christmas. For example everyone builds something out of Lego (including parents), build the biggest hot wheel track that you can around the house, draw a picture that represents 2020, shoot nerf bullets at targets with prize for winner.

It didn’t cost anything and encouraged DSs to play with toys that they’d forgotten about. Also made me spend time with them instead of working, doing chores or looking at my phone. I’ll definitely do it next year

Chiddles09 · 21/12/2020 16:19

Not minding a mess is my main tip! Often their imagination will mean that they are building forts in the living room and a shopping centre in their bedrooms and the house does not look how I would like it to look. Messy walks in the woods nearby also are great places for some imagination - I've been known to take a flask and spend an afternoon watching them building dens / ant obstacle courses and so on. The big one I have found helpful, is not to get too involved and take over - let them go where their imagination takes them for engaging play.

pinkpetal2 · 21/12/2020 16:22

Cushion houses 100% and toilet rolls god my kids use them for so many things, towers, tellescopes etc

MadisonErin · 21/12/2020 16:25

My kids use items from around the house to play shops. I also give them items and get them to write a story about it.

Powerof4 · 21/12/2020 16:27

Little people, and lots of them inspire creative play in our family. My 5 year old will play for ages with her Duplo people with all kinds of props she finds lying around. They've had hammocks from scraps of cloth, buses, gymnastics competitions, swimming lessons in the paddling pool - and their Duplo parents have had to social distance when collecting them from 'school' and 'nursery'!

We also have a fairy door in our house and the 'little Lego' gets used to make presents for the fairies. They've had cars, a plane, a ligthhouse, a piano...

Doveyouknow · 21/12/2020 17:00

My kids love building with anything and my living room is often covered with Lego cities which cannot be dismantled under any circumstances, cardboard boxes that are boats, cranes; buses etc etc or dens made from sofa cushions and blanket. However, a new favourite is using paperback books as blocks to build cities on the stairs. Towers and houses are built by balancing books on the steps to create a 'hillside' city. They have added cars, lights using an electronic set and people from Playmobil. The only issue it's v tricky to get up and down the stairs (and the cat doesn't always appreciate the delicacy of the build!)

ItsCovidOutThereThisChristmas · 21/12/2020 18:52

My child enjoys treasure hunts which have clever clues and letters to find - to form a word all linked.

bluechameleon · 21/12/2020 19:20

I have a theme and set put toys and books related to that theme to inspire imaginative play. I swap it over every two or three weeks. So we might have the weather one time, then space, then under the sea. The open ended toys like the wooden blocks, lego, duplo and loose parts are always available and the children include these in their play in so many different ways.

MimsyBorogroves · 21/12/2020 19:29

We recreate movies/films/tv programmes with LEGO. Now getting into stop motion animation.

purplepandas · 21/12/2020 19:57

Magnatiles have been fab for this and I find leaving the children to their own devices helps to be honest (if they are not trying to kill one another). They can come up with some lovely games with bits I would never have thought of. Blankets are often involved!

Beckham19 · 21/12/2020 20:01

We like to build pillow forts and play, picnic. We have a tea set and they cook us a picnic, normally using Lego Bricks as food and drink! And we sit in the fort and “eat". Sometimes we build the fort and read storys or play camping!!
Kids love a fort!!

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