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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:
Exhaustedpenguin · 22/12/2020 00:54

I do the LEGO tombola challenge. It's basically a load of objects or challenges in a box and they pull one out and have to build it. The last one included things like 'a sweet dispenser', 'a banana' and 'a car with a swimming pool. It keeps them amused for ages Grin

Cotswoldmama · 22/12/2020 05:27

Hide and seek seems to be our go to if we don't know what else to do. We've recently bought some new board games so we've been playing those a lot too.

emphasisofmatter · 22/12/2020 07:16

My children love imaginative play and they are always making up their own games. They like playing shops and cafes, making pretend food in a cafe and going 'shopping' for ingredients in my cupboards. They play mummies and daddies a lot looking after the dolls and taking them for walks in the pram. They love building forts made of blankets and having a little den to play in too.

Quietvoiceplease · 22/12/2020 08:47

There's a few things we do to try and encourage creative play: we always have a pot of pencils and pens and a pile of scrap paper on the kitchen table so there's always something to do during those 5 minutes after a meal or whilst waiting for the toaster or whatever. Everyone loves to doodle, even if we think we can't draw.
We also encourage them to be creative in the garden: planting seeds, working out where to plant them, picking fruit, making jam.
Also practical 3D creativity, with origami, model making. We've also used lockdown to sort all our lego out. Surprisingly therapeutic: the hours go by without anyone looking at their phones!

Gazelda · 22/12/2020 09:01

You can't beat a den. Blankets, pegs and cushions regularly disappear from their usual places to be used as a tent. I vividly recall the first time I surprised them by serving their tea in their den.
They've expanded their den repertoire by making them into a spy hideaway. In the summer they use the washing line to help them make the biggest den in the world. They have friends who live round the corner and they challenge each other to make the best den and chat to each other on walkie talkies or send torch signals.

Ashhead24 · 22/12/2020 09:07

Set them lose on the Playmobil and Duplo, help when requested but don't interfere. Mine have really different playing styles but anything with little people seems to spark their imaginations.

lovemyflipflops · 22/12/2020 10:14

We get the carpet road out - all of the cars and trains and play a game - never fails - we love to get onto the floor and take our passengers to various destinations

pushchairprincess · 22/12/2020 10:18

We have our best time with a cardboard box - a pen, paint and (scissors for me) and we make house/ airplane/ car /train - we have been on holiday virtually this year - we have hours of fun transforming our box into - virtually anything.

alwaysataldi · 22/12/2020 11:44

You cannot beat a pair of kitchen roll binoculars or a cardboard box house - with windows and doors - it's cheap, (well free virtually) you have hours of fun (if the box lasts sometimes days) and you can recycle when you have finished.

spaceghetto · 22/12/2020 18:46

Lego... in the bath! My two boys have endless fun playing with it and it's a perfect bath toy. Dh attached some to the sides of the bath, so thry can make bridges.

LavendarMoon · 22/12/2020 21:26

Keep resources tidy so the kids have space to create, but then don’t mind if they make a mess during their creation! And I think most important is modelling being creative for them - they want to join in if I am baking/painting/building with Lego etc. but let them guide the play from there.

wellingtonsandwaffles · 22/12/2020 22:58

I try and set up an open ended “invitation to play” at least every other mornings where I ask DCc”what do you think happened here?” To a random assortment of toys, to then make up a story and some creative play. Dressing up is also a huge in to creative play, that plus walks in the woods - nature inspires creativity

jitterbugintomybrain · 22/12/2020 23:11

Mine used to love building dens and ones with slides off my bed! Hours of fun.

ButterflyBitch · 23/12/2020 10:23

My son is 11 and never really did imaginative play but occasionally he and my daughter will play. Nor manly a game which involves making a mess and wrestling. Otherwise it’s a card game for us as a family. Monopoly deal is a current fave. My daughter wiped the floor with us all the other day after demanding £26 million from everyone 😭

Montydoo · 23/12/2020 12:51

Making a den behind the sofa with a sheet and some toys, letting them free with the brio - making endless tracks and bridges, and best of all a large cardboard box and some crayons to 'decorate' their house. (you cut a door and some windows first).

1wokeuplikethis · 23/12/2020 13:27

My two (4 and 7) love anything crafty and the messier the better, glitter is no longer allowed in this house. Also baking, especially banana bread a it’s so quick and easy. They still play with their teddies and replicate school lessons/register etc. Toy wise, it’s Lego all the way and they particularly enjoy the 3 in 1 sets and finding alternative builds, other than that my son still loves his hot wheels and tracks and my daughter loves reading.

We do have to encourage them away from telly and tablets, usual trick is asking them to go and tidy their rooms. Once that’s done they end up starting a game together and forget about the screens.

Tanith · 23/12/2020 15:21

I have a box of scarves, picked up over the years from charity shops.

They're used for dressing up, for threading through the laundry basket, for making dens with the clothes airer, for parachutes, for colour identification, for textures, for making crowns, for dancing, for examples of transparent and opaque, for making scarves, for making floormaps with rivers and bridges... etc. etc.

SuperLoudPoppingAction · 23/12/2020 17:29

Depending on age, I've engaged the dc in creative play in all sorts of ways.
Montessori play and learn is a good book for ideas for young children.
We used to have 'wnaky basket' chats on here with ideas for heuristic play. Championed by a long-term MNer but I can't remember her name just now.
But kids can enjoy a box of fir cones, Pringles tubes, plastic hair brushes etc which is a lot cheaper than eg ordering a craft box from the Internet.

Now mine are older, we all love board games. Ravensburger's labyrinth is a big hit.

We are also a big lego family. Even now that they're all big enough to more or less assemble simple models as soon as they open their gifts whereas it used to occupy them for a few days.

I think part of it is modelling how you have fun yourself. I show them that I love crafts and board games so they think of it as something even older children and adults can do.

TellMeItsNotTrue · 23/12/2020 21:19

Get involved

Sounds simple, but it's the best way to get and keep kids interested

Start a story off and then ask questions "what animal do you think he sees? Which way will he go?" etc rather than just expecting them to be able to carry it in. The more you do it, the less prompts they need and the more they do themselves / with other kids

XmasLockdown · 23/12/2020 21:20

There is always box of Lego pieces that have been Lego sets before. Building them again and playing again will entertain children for hours.

GawdrestyeJerryMentlemen · 23/12/2020 23:55

Mine just want attention. Any game, role play, building, board game, physical is enough to make them happy, if I am taking part.

Bubblebox · 24/12/2020 04:43

My 4yo D's has just got into imaginary play in a big way. Stuff that is not actually a you has been a huge part of developing this. We ee no longer allowed to throw out boxes that have been a train plane, car, pirate ship, pet carrier, shop counter and so many different things.
More recently the wrappers from a box of quality street and some old treading breads have provided hours fun playing sweet shops.

Bubblebox · 24/12/2020 04:45

Not actually a toy.

Sid98 · 24/12/2020 04:58

We have plenty of board games that the kids love to play

ohdannyboy · 24/12/2020 10:08

Do you have a fail-safe activity that your children enjoy every time?

The 'transform the large box into a house' day - I will ask for one from the supermarket - and they will spend hours transforming it and playing with it - and it's fully recyclable (not glitter is used BTW)

How do you tease your children away from video games and encourage them to invent their own fun?

Making a den behind the sofa and making our own stories about the adventure we are having - in our little 'capsule'

Do you find it easy to keep them interested in creative play?

If the game is enthralling and new - yes - and if we are outdoors then it does last longer.

Do you have tips or ideas for encouraging imaginative play that you can share with other parents?

I would say - join in - they love you playing with them as much as the game itself - give eye contact and give them ideas

Do you have to inspire your kids to play creatively or do they use their own imagination to dream up new games?

Definitely - give them an idea - space pirates for example - set the scene for them - and let their imaginations run free

How does your child explore the world through imaginative play?

Through roll play, drawing, miming, dancing, building and creating magical worlds

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