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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?

All who post on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £200 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

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Mumsnetters share their imaginative play tips and ideas with The LEGO Group
OP posts:
BigGreen · 29/12/2020 13:49

Setting up a partial scenario is great - I build half the Duplo airport and then I know the kids will come and build the rest. We can then mix Duplo for the toddler and little Lego for DC6. If I pick the tractor / digger parts out of the big Duplo tray then the toddler will take this as an invitation to mix them up.

BernardBernard · 30/12/2020 01:36

We have spent hours and hours creating and playing shops this year. My dds have had everything from supermarkets to hair salons to car garages. Letting them set up shop with their toys and giving them the means to make signs and price tags was all they needed. The beauty salon has been a firm favourite for all of us as dds get ‘tips’ (chocolate coins normally) and I get to have a sit/lie down! Win win! Grin

Jokie · 30/12/2020 08:19

We've been using what she does in school as inspiration. We use Lego/Duplo to build our own "school" for her toys or we try to work out who can build the highest skyscraper and what it means to build a good one that doesn't fall over. As she loves to watch me in the kitchen, she's made her own "oven" and kitchen set and plays along whilst I make lunch/snacks.

I think it's important to guide but not tell kids how to do it so I'll try to make sure that I'm asking questions to help her think as well as play.

sheebasima · 30/12/2020 12:42

Taking the children to the beach in the summer to collect shells for winter activities. We design them with paint pens and make small sea creatures and insects out of them and then build a habitat for them to live out of coloured paper toilet rolls cardboard and paints. Then we discuss the insects and sea creatures how they live and how we can help them in their marine or land habitat.

agreaves19 · 30/12/2020 13:22

My kids love hands on play, Playdoh with lots of different colours is always a lot of fun. The kids both enjoy creating their own characters

sjonlegs · 30/12/2020 16:52

There's nothing quite like letting the kids draw on the path outside with jumbo chalks and a heavy rainfall washes it all away!

A plastic tray a few blobs of paint on a piece of paper and a marble and roll it about a bit for some excellent artwork (peg it out on the washing line to dry)

Put lots of small toys and different things on a tray then take one away and see if they can tell you what's missing?

If the baby/infant is still in a playpen or in a room with a gate ... loosely stick favourite toys to the gate/bars with fabric tape and they spend AGES taking them off and playing with them (it's also super good for their fine motor develpment)

hutchy73 · 30/12/2020 18:09

my son loves drawing and playing board games or building Lego but only once he can be surgically removed from his xbox . He prefers following instructions than building from scratch and does now keep his sets together instead of them ending up broken up

Breeze81 · 30/12/2020 18:27

Gardening! Children love getting their hands dirty and watching vegetables grow from seeds to plate.

RippleEffects · 30/12/2020 20:21

I have found over the years rotating toys/ activities and reducing stuff leads to better imaginative play. When my middle son did the odd day in nursery I was fascinated by how the experienced staff would get just get a few toy boxes out each day.

The children would flock to see what the days choices were and really enjoy them. They'd also tidy them up and correctly put them away whilst I watched in owe at collection time.

At home we had everything available and too much choice was almost overwhelming.

Likewise when away on holiday and you take just a few toys to play in the tent/ on the caravan floor/ at the airport, somehow they are more content than when they have the choice of all.

Its the same with the lego bricks. We now have one fairly big box with zip down sides so it becomes a play mat. The box is about half full so when unzipped you can have a good sift through the pieces available - seeing what you have means you can let your imagination run riot and create.

Lmow9 · 30/12/2020 20:56

We are great lovers of crafts with play so every empty box from a delivery, finished cereal, loo or kitchen roll tube we use again and turn it into something. Straight away the kids shout different things when there’s something they can use for crafts, straight away they invent things to use in their imaginative play. This means our house is always filled with crafts and even more now with Christmas just gone. Smile

RACHELSMITH45 · 30/12/2020 21:33

Lego sets definitely encourage use of my childrens imagination! As soon as they hear me tip the box, they are off the tech and engaged for hours in play! It's amazing!

Aria999 · 30/12/2020 23:10


The box with zip down sides for lego is a great idea, where did you get it?

shrill · 31/12/2020 09:18

The 'big kids' are the worst, but it does mean they get shoved out if the way by the little ines who see it as their right - so funny to see. Outside especially if it's wet as then it's like the world's their own then as bery few people around so seem to feel freer to run, shout and try things out without anyone to guve them the look!

nausicaa35 · 31/12/2020 09:36

My son loves sitting in baskets and pretending he is in a boat. Cheap but effective!

RippleEffects · 31/12/2020 09:59

@aria999 they're often called zip bins. They're available for lots of different toys like hotwheels and barbie as well as lego. Heavily branded and unbranded versions exist.

Here's an example second hand on eBay, lots of new examples on eBay too

maisietoo · 31/12/2020 10:09

My children love a game where we create a list of related words, in turn, that we have to memorise. E.g I say "elephant", my son says "elephant, straw". I say "elephant, straw, drink", and so on. They LOVE this game.
It really helps their creativity and memory. You don't need any toys either.

ujhunt1961 · 31/12/2020 10:37

Either art activities or board games are always a way to get all the children together they particularly painting and love to play any competitive board game with game time of 45 to 60 minutes

thelongwayhome · 31/12/2020 12:15

My daughter loves to make 'cars', 'sleighs', 'boats' etc. out of sofa cushions. Done a million times before by kids all over the world but very effective! Bonus fun if we have cardboard boxes lying around too

Aria999 · 31/12/2020 12:52

@RippleEffects thanks!

UpOnDown · 31/12/2020 14:59

Building dens from the furniture.

Gospeak · 31/12/2020 18:24

Endless creativity... mixing up different toys tends to reinvent them, so kids rediscover them.Put them outside in the snow or mud. They can always be washed afterwards. And that’s another really popular activity. Variety in activities is also important to provide a range of options. I Like the comments on messy play - always a hit. Even a walk, can be an adventure when we become explorers, mountaineers and so on.

LankyJolene · 01/01/2021 09:52

Nothing beats a bit of cardboard box imaginative play! We have invented so many things this year from box robot 🤖 in the picture, a race car (we painted & made wheels), lots of boats, houses, bird watching hut, car ramp and princesses Castle are to name a few! We love it and as a family we are passionate about reusing & recycling so this helps implement this to the children 🥰

Mumsnetters share their imaginative play tips and ideas with The LEGO Group
susan1983uk · 01/01/2021 10:48

I play charades with my kids. Not only is it great for their imagination and improves their drama skills, it's quality family time!

icequeenie76 · 01/01/2021 10:58

My 3 yr old loves playing doctors, she had a lovely doctors bag for Christmas, full of instruments and bandages, so far we have all had some sort of ailment, from broken legs to sore heads.she is very gentle an caring, I think we may have a future nurse/doctor in the house.

Kentmumoftwo · 01/01/2021 11:12

Lego is our go to toy in this house! We have made so much already and even built out names out of Lego. My son is into cars and is always making tracks and jumps all over the house to suit the object.
I will often print a picture of something and place a pile of Lego next to it to see who can come the closest to re creating it. I find keeping paper in different places helpful for creativeness to spark!

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