Family Lifestyle

Inspiring Creative Play

Develop imagination in your child

Guest post

What’s the most important for our kids?

Walking down the aisles in the toy section at the store can be so overwhelming. Brightly coloured packaging, buttons to test, words like ‘Educational’ and ‘Learning’ plastered all over them.

This being said, I must question whether the proclaimed ‘educational’ toys are just that or is this a marketing tool used to lure consumers by appealing to the need to give the best to our kids?

Us parents always want the best for our kids. We want to give them the best start to life and the marketing crew at the toy companies are playing on this primal emotion.

Imagination and creativity more important than toys

Do these toys with their flashy slogans, batteries and buttons really offer our children the best educational learning experiences for their targeted age?

How important is it that our 18 months old can count to ten or recite ABCs? Why do we feel the need for academic success needs to replace discovery, the development of life skills and creativity?

Flashy toys are all programmed with a premeditated response as designed by their creators. They are built to get attention and entertain. How does this inspire creativity or imagination?

What could be an alternative to commercial toys?

Something that can be transformed into a boat, theatre, costume, possum, pirate, cubby or car. Something that can be a cave, a spaceship, a dinosaur or a carriage.

Have you heard of the saying “They have more fun with the box”? Yes, well that’s because most of the time, our kids do!

Imagination and creativity in our kids

Children are inspired to be creative with the most basic materials. A cardboard box can become a cubby, a stick can become a horse, buttons become flowers, cotton balls become clouds.

If you would like to inspire creative play, take away all the predetermined responses that come with commercial toys and let your child engage in play that is lead by their imagination.

There are no right or wrongs when it comes to creative play. The only limits are your child’s imagination.

For some, this can be overwhelming. Too many choices can result in no decision made. Why not use a recent story or event as inspiration?

What skills can be gained through creative play?

Through conversations with their parents and caregivers, children can still learn about numbers and their alphabet as a secondary element to their play. They are more likely to comprehend what those numbers mean when they are put into practice.

They are also going to be exposed to other important life skills through creative play.

  • Turn-taking
  • Fine motor skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Social Skills
  • Cognitive Thinking
  • Colour Recognition
  • Language Skills
  • Cause and Effect
  • Bilateral Coordination
  • Crossing the midline
  • Sequencing events
  • Identifying patterns

The best gift you can provide to your child is your presence. Talking to them, validating their thoughts and opinions. Surely these are more important than ABCs and 123s?

Creaticity and imagination in our kids

The warmth, love and memories that come with spending time with a child’s loved ones cannot be purchased at a store.

It’s a Guest Post from Dani a busy stay at home Mum of 3 and teacher in training who is passionate about play-based learning throughout early childhood. For educational play ideas that you can do at home and parenting tips visit her blog www.playinspiredmum.com

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply Alexandra

    I agree with this post – I have seen kids have the most fun with basic stuff – not fancy toys 🙂
    I used to love bashing on a kitchen pot or pan growing up, and always loved this!

    22 January 2019 at 01:30
  • Reply Amber Myers

    Creative play is so important. I’m glad my kids always liked it. It’s probably why they have such great imaginations even now as older kids.

    22 January 2019 at 01:48
  • Reply Devyabi

    My son loves playing with empty boxes ! There’s no getting bored with creative play !

    22 January 2019 at 03:34
  • Reply Kaitlyn

    Yesssss I’m a about toys that spark creativity… if it causes your child to think outside the box it’s a keeper.

    22 January 2019 at 11:59
  • Reply Cristina Petrini

    I’m not a mum, but if I got it, I’d like my son to learn real fun and joy from simple things, from social activities and not from all this emotionless technology.

    22 January 2019 at 12:09
  • Reply Sarah Bailey

    Creative play sounds like it is such an important thing to happen in a childs life. There is something amazing about sparking the imagination.
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Picking the Right Care Home for your Loved OnesMy Profile

    22 January 2019 at 16:17
  • Reply Joan

    Let me just tell you, I am so tired with toys nowadays that I have convinced my boy to get rid of the useless ones. I would like him to create his play without needing something bought.

    22 January 2019 at 18:54
  • Reply Jasmine Wyrick

    This is a great article, thank you for emphasizing the need to interact creatively with children versus just buying them the newest flashy “educational” toy!

    22 January 2019 at 19:10
  • Reply Tara Pittman

    I so agree with this. I dislike the toys that make noise and they not only annoy the parents but it hampers the childs imagination.
    Tara Pittman recently posted…Easy Roasted Beets In The OvenMy Profile

    22 January 2019 at 20:56
  • Reply Heather

    It’s so important to get a child’s imagination going at an early age. I love how many tools there are out there now.

    23 January 2019 at 03:49
  • Reply Sundeep Bhatia

    We are totally hooked on to your blog. No wonder we are coming back again and again for more info.

    23 January 2019 at 06:00
  • Reply Cris

    This looks like so much fun! I am not a mother yet, but I am definitely saving this for future reference.

    23 January 2019 at 07:46
  • Reply Kiwi

    I think parents are introducing young children to smart devices more and more and it will hinder their creativity. IT doesnt matter what devices come out that art smart, the smartest thing a child can develop is their constant creativity.

    23 January 2019 at 08:05
  • Reply Nandita

    I think you’re highlighting a very important point here that education toys can’t beat the importance of creative playtime and quality time with kids. But, I also feel the best results come from combining all these in a way that best suits every individual child.
    – Nandita

    23 January 2019 at 08:23
  • Reply Amara Jakobsen

    This article is such an informative one, especially for us parents. Thanks for sharing.

    23 January 2019 at 09:03
  • Reply Hannah

    I agree! Most of my nephews and nieces much prefer the basic stuff than the newest toy craze out there!

    23 January 2019 at 12:31
  • Reply Monidipa Dutta

    Creative play is a vital part of childhood and child development. Through creative and imaginative play children can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically. Creative experiences help a child develop these skills and enable them to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

    23 January 2019 at 18:14
  • Reply Jennifer L

    I’m not a parent, but I know my parents were big on creative play. And it’s definitely something I’d love to incorporate as a parent for my kids in the future. It enriches their mind and creativity so much.
    Jennifer L recently posted…How to Care for Your Skin After a FacialMy Profile

    24 January 2019 at 06:43
  • Reply Swathi

    You have incorporated lot of info. I wish I had seen this 7 years earlier. My kids are now 9 and 7. I will share this to my friends.

    25 January 2019 at 04:16
  • Reply David Elliott

    I agree that you can learn from all kinds of directed play out there. It is important to get your kids to get outside of the box and learn through different means.
    David Elliott recently posted…Thursday Thoughts: Five Lessons To Give Your Child About Their FutureMy Profile

    25 January 2019 at 15:57
  • Reply Natalie Ast

    i totally agree that creative toys are amazing for kids. when i was young my mom always encouraged us to play with art supplies and create things.

    26 January 2019 at 14:33
  • Reply Nicole

    What a great post! Creative play is definitely so important especially at the younger stages of learning. I always loved watching my son do these kinds of things and still do! Thanks for sharing!

    29 January 2019 at 16:03
  • Reply Mommy Sigrid

    There are so many alternatives to commercial toys. When we were younger, we used to play with blankets, boxes, egg trays… These spark more imagination. Now, we are so used to buying toys that we forget about these things.

    1 February 2019 at 10:04
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