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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:
HurtingHillary · 24/12/2020 12:00

We get the playdoh out and open a cafe all of them get Involved and it’s a good couple of hours!

Hulk1169 · 24/12/2020 16:40

Some of you have the best ideas. I’m stealing them to use

TheQueenOfTheNight · 24/12/2020 20:37

I find that just being in the same room doing something that I enjoy will often entice the kids to join in. They may leave their Lego or Minecraft (or actual Lego Minecraft!) for a few moments or for longer to see what I'm up to, join in with a jigsaw, all what I'm making... My 9 year old had "Lego stories " all over the house and seems to have an ability to know if anyone is near one of his creations - "mum I'm in the middle of a story, just climb over it /walk round it" 😂
I'm sure most people know, but Lego stories are scenes mainly built of Lego but anything in the house can join in. Bits of string are often used to make zip lines etc. Playmobil characters might join in too.

biffyboom · 24/12/2020 21:19

Whenever we get parcels delivered, the children always ask for the box to play with or make things with, we have a large basket to put them in, wallpaper scraps, toilet roll tubes etc. They love decorating them and making things.
Large boxes have them super excited if they can fit inside them, and we had a couple over lockdown.

Mumsnetters share their imaginative play tips and ideas with The LEGO Group
Tidypidy · 24/12/2020 22:05

Find 6 empty tubs or plates. Number each one from 1-6 with post its. Put a handful of Lego on each plate, make sure there's a good mixture of blocks, body parts, wheels etc.
Take turns to roll a dice and take a piece from the matching tub. Use the pieces to create a model, older children can choose a theme for this if desired. Play for 10 minutes then vote on the most amusing/inventive/tall etc.
My children love it as it's different every time and we have all sorts of weird and interesting Lego to choose from- some is nearly 40 years old! It encourages them to think quickly and creatively.

deekerr · 25/12/2020 00:39

My 2 love drawing and building and came up with a great game. Draw and build!
Whatever they draw they then have to build.
They have learnt sometimes its easier to draw than it is to build and vice versa.
Best ones to build are the abstract ones their imaginations go wild!

SquirtleSquad · 25/12/2020 22:14

We have one obsessed with building things (Lego, duplo, blocks, stacks, connects) and he has a twin equally obsessed with knocking things down so between them they use this to create endless stories (aliens invading the city, pirates cannon balling ships) and the beauty of it all is that the one who loves to build gets to rebuild over and over again!

Their imagination is endless, I credit a lot of it to their love of books which pairs nicely with broadening their creativity and imaginations ready for play.

Trinidading3 · 25/12/2020 22:21

My 8 yr old son and I grab a piece of paper and crayons and we take it in turns to go through the Alphabet randomly and which ever letter we shout out we have to draw a picture of anything starting with this letter and when our art is finished we both show each other what we have drawn. Its so much fun and great for the artistic/creative flow. It's also amazing when we draw the same thing!!! Much fun truly!!Xmas Smile

Clementine8 · 26/12/2020 08:23

We try and turn everyday activities in to games.
When going for a walk we pretend to be spies. Last nights walk involved the babys pram being a spaceship, motorbike and hellicopter at
Various points. The lights were minster trucks that we had to shoot out the headlights, the road names were planets so ‘Apple Road’ would be sector ‘apple’. The people We passed were spies (who must have thought we were crazy 😂). I find by doing all this fun stuff when on walks it makes DS be the one asking to go out. He loves imaginative play and the best way for me to encourage it is to get stuck in. This can be simple things like cooking tea turning it
In to a restaurant and letting him take peoples orders. Building lego or playmobil towns and playing with him. It usually involves spies so we have to move the figures about and say pewpew a lot.

GalOopNorth · 26/12/2020 12:47

Lego battles. DS makes crazy vehicles. I do too. We battle with them with made up weapons (ie this one has a potato gun- here it comes firing Maris pipers)
Sometimes we smash each others vehicles up.

lozzieann · 26/12/2020 13:08

Our boys be they have amazing imaginations, sometimes they need a bit of help to bring them out after using screens so much. We make a lot of basic sugar cookies that they can decorate however they like. They love it when we get random ingredients out and they can create recipes and see why works and what doesn’t. My oldest made the best fluffy pancakes by experimenting with Ingredients and we always make them now. Another one is playing hide the treat with our (very patient) dog. They boys hide treats in a room and he has to find them, it has meant that they have have built a great relationship with him and he gets challenged at the same time, a win win all round!

BarefootInTheMoonlitSnow · 26/12/2020 13:17

Benign neglect 😂

I used to take DS to places with his friends, then me & the other mums would chat over flasks of coffee while leaving the kids to play in the forest/at the beach/park or wherever.

They were expected to amuse themselves, sort out their own minor disagreements, pop back & help themselves to picnic food when hungry and importantly leave us alone to chat for more than five mins Grin

We rarely took any toys or props so they had to think for themselves, and as we all did craft stuff too, they were usually tasked with finding shells/pinecones/random shit for next time we got together.

On a Christmas thread someone suggested challenging behaviour can be down to ‘overload’ on the day - too many presents exploding tiny minds - and I agree, sometimes kids just need shoved out into the garden/park with just their imaginations. Most will find a dirty puddle or interesting insect to play with fairly quickly without adult interference.

lolly2011 · 26/12/2020 15:01

We get involved with the Beavers and Scouts so building a den in the garden is fun, we have made our own pizza oven using a cardboard box and foil, my youngest loves make imaginative things like iron man armour from cardboard, we love crafts and are lucky enough to have an amazing art centre near by. My boys love Lego and I find it never grows old, they enjoy tackling a large set. We also look for different baking projects, I encourage my eldest to be as self sufficient as possible and research his own recipes with me on hand if needed.
I have a massive ever growing craft box, I am forever adding to, to encourage them to be creative.

BellaVida · 26/12/2020 19:17

My DC have all loved getting creative and it is something I have encouraged. It is how they experiment and engage with the world; whether it goes well or goes wrong they learn and that is the key. It’s about the process.

You can get creative with so many things around the home, garden or travelling around. It’s always better to reuse items and if you can make your creations biodegradable or recyclable even better. Children should learn about sustainability from a young age, after all we are inspiring the next generation of researchers, chemists, biologists and engineers.
I find it is better for them to have a mix of simply creating from their imagination and by setting a task or challenge. Some of the projects my DC have done include making a skeleton collage from garden plants, improving wing design, creating energy with simple salt water batteries and, in the spirit of social distancing, building a machine to pass objects across a 2m gap. That last project used a Lego gear and pulley system from a mix of other Lego kits. Most recently my youngest DD built her own Lego city including a solar energy farm!
Lego has always been popular in our family with our 4 DC and is still used by all of them. Lego sets are always seem to be moving with the times, so it is great to see the company thinking about how it promotes sustainability. The ultimate goal for Lego and many other manufacturers must be to make products with biodegradable plastics from sustainable resources. Maybe our DC could be part of that journey.

Rapunzel91 · 27/12/2020 13:21

One thing that always is a big hit with the older children is board games! Competitive, they can learn things like strategy and calculus, as well as be patients and that can't always lose. Lots of fun and education (without them realising) and great when the weather keeps us inside. Current favourite is the classic monopoly

ZoChan · 27/12/2020 13:58

My boys love Lego and we often sit for hours just going with whatever they want. My youngest loves to create his own characters from his Lego minifigures - they all look a bit crazy!

onedream · 27/12/2020 18:42

My older boy who is nearly 5 a absolutely loves Lego, he started with duplo, now he plays with the city ones and its hours and hours of play..his little brother who is nearly 2 is starting to pick up the duplo concept and copies his older brother. All these blocks just call for imagination as you can make anything. For us Lego is the best toy so far for both of my kids.

jobbyjg · 27/12/2020 19:04

My ds loves making a huge marble run he adds varies toys to make it bigger . He also love pretending to be pirate when we font on the park and looks for treasure . He got a dolly for Christmas and he's had so much fun pretending dolly wasn't well and he's the dolls dr

StickChildNumberTwo · 27/12/2020 21:15

My kids are forever inventing their own games, often based around their cuddly toys. The games tend to reflect their own experiences, so the cuddlies go to school/nursery, learn to swim/fly (my kids can't fly, just to be clear!) and also compete in cuddly Strictly and Bake Off! It seems to be a great way of them processing their own experiences while having fun together.

ButterflyOfFreedom · 27/12/2020 21:36

Little challenges or competitions are good, e.g. who can build the tallest tower with books or who can make a vehicle out of Lego the quickest.
Sometimes it backfires if it gets too competitive (!) but generally it kick starts an activity which then leads on to other things (e.g. what else can we build a tower out of or now let's make a Lego house etc).

Pidgythe2nd · 28/12/2020 07:11

Good old pens, pencils and paper, plus a load of junk modelling material and a roll of sticky tape.

Free Lego (ie. base plates and a mix of Lego I got second hand). They love the sets but for length of play and creativity, this wins hands down.

Play with no props - running in the woods with friends or the garden (or currently through the house). They are golden eagles, puppies, playing floor is larva, Spies, or army warriors...I lose track.

So many good ideas here!
Are you going to pull them together and share somehow?! Send to me if you do!!

misskatamari · 28/12/2020 11:22

We try and avoid electronics in the mornings at the weekend - if left to their own devices this kids will usually get out something like lego/hama beads/drawing/colouring and get absorbed in that. Or they will start making up their own games, playing dress up etc.

We have a lot of crafting materials (I save boxes, bottle tops, shiny things etc), and the kids often decide to make things. If given a big cardboard box they will often decide to turn it into something, which is fun. We made an ice cream van and our own pretend ice creams (using egg cartons and pom-poms/cotton wool) last summer, and playing in their kept them busy for ages. We love some messy play too. When the weather is nice especially, we go out and make potions and do science on the tuff tray :)

Don't get me wrong, they watch plenty of telly and play more video games than they probably should, but overall enjoy a good mix of activities I think

sycamorescrumptious · 28/12/2020 12:48

DS10 is not a natural at imaginative play, but we try to encourage it where possible! I think reading lots is really important as it sparks his imagination when playing, giving him lots of ideas.

TrackandTrain · 28/12/2020 16:16

I find if I start with an idea, both mine will continue it. So I might set up a few animals in a pen, they'll turn it into a farm and build a farm house and get tractors out.

HouseholdBubblesandEeeeek · 28/12/2020 21:42

Daughter loves being creative when baking as she knows she gets something sweet to eat afterwards!!

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