“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. Playing is one of the most important aspects of a child’s growing years. It not only allows the child to break free from everything that is holding him/her back and experience joy but also adds to his/her holistic development.
As rightly said by O. Fred Donaldson, “Children learn as they play. More importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.”
What is imaginative play?
Imaginative play is essentially a role-play. When your child participates in imaginative play, the whole world indeed becomes his/her playground. They assume various roles and act out various experiences. One day they are the superheroes of the world trying to save the planet and the other day they are the teachers. Their world suddenly becomes limitless. They are everything that they want to be.
As rightly said by Fred Rogers, “When children pretend, they are using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero”.
Here are 5 benefits of Imaginative play:
1. Social Development
Imaginative Play plays a very important role in shaping the social skills of your child. Your child learns to interact and co-operate with his/her friends involved in the imaginative play. Participating in imaginative play helps your child overcome the hesitation/shyness and helps him/her express clearly.
2. Language Development
Imaginative Play advances the command over the language of your child as it involves dialogue, expression, teamwork, conceptualizing characters and the role play scripts. Thus your child will be encouraged to experiment with words and stories.
3. Emotional Development
The best way to understand someone else’s story is to put yourself in his/her shoes; and imaginative play lets your child do just that. Ongoing participation in Imaginative Play will make your child more empathetic. Imaginative Play helps your child in developing the self-expression trait and will add to his/her emotional development.
4. Physical Development
Imaginative Play is a mix of both verbal and non-verbal forms of expression. It is as good as setting up a play performance. This may involve a lot of other activities for your child – creating charts, posters, props, etc. Through imaginative play, your child may assume the role of a dancer, a boxer, a gymnast, and so on. All these activities will help in strengthening the hand-motor skills and hand-eye coordination of your child.
5. Thinking Skills
As rightly said by Abraham Maslow, “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play”
Imaginative Play encourages your child to go out of the box and let his/her imagination know no bounds. Your child is encouraged to assume different roles and different characters. These characters can have traits as defined by your child. The objects involved in the role play can have attributes that reality has not seen till date. Let your child’s creativity be nurtured and nourished through these imaginative plays. An entire Quidditch game in the famous Harry Potter series was the result of powerful imagination.
Children are not yet introduced to the realities of the world. They believe that everything is possible. They believe sky to be their only limits. Help them preserve this thought. Introduce them to the power of Imaginative play. And empower them with the skills of creativity, imagination, and creation.