Top Tips: Encourage Your Child’s Imagination

July 18, 2013 Published by
Imagination is a powerful tool that is fundamental to a child’s social, emotional and language development. Imagination allows a child to escape from reality but through role play they also begin to understand it. There are many ways to encourage imagination from suggesting role-play games to nurturing a love of reading and at Fundamentally Children we have approved a range of toys and apps that encourage imagination.
“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination”.  Mark Twain
Here are our tips on how to encourage a child imagination:
  1. Don’t criticise their ideas/actions- even if you think their ideas are crazy and unrealistic, just let them get on with it as you could knock their creativity and self-esteem.
  2. Let them make their own choices- give them opportunities to make their own choices, what t shirt/ hair clip, pair of socks do they want to wear.
  3. Encourage them to solve their own problems- this will develop problem-solving skills and develop their sense of curiosity and achievement in succeeding.
  4. Encourage them to read books– fantastical books stimulate a child’s imagination.
  5. Expose your child to a variety of environments; such as woods, parks, museums, zoos, lakes that will broaden their knowledge and allow them to explore and create. Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your child to release their imagination.
  6. Provide materials and a variety of resources to stimulate imagination– pots pans, cardboard boxes, blankets, string and wooden spoons and their imagination will decide what they do with it.
  7. Let your child play alone– so you do not interfere with their imagination and do not limit their creativity.
  8. Let them play without toys as they will still play but find alternative props to play with, such as sticks
  9. Play with your child- do not dictate play but sit with your child and create a story together. Play make believe games but let your child decide what character your going to be.
  10. Encourage your child- positive comments, such as “that den looks great, it really does look like a spaceship” will increase your child’s imagination. Negative comments will belittle your child “why cant you build a den on your own, its not difficult” and hinder their creativity.

“To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything”. Anatole France.

The Good Toy Guide and Good App Guide include a wide range of toys and apps that encourage creative and imaginative play.

Here are our Good Toys for Imaginative Play and our Good Apps for Imaginative Play.



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This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer

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Toys and apps that encourage imaginative play: