Imaginative Play refers to activities which encourage children to use their imaginations through play. There are any different types of Imaginative Play, including; Role Play, Dressing Up and Small World Play.
Essentially, Imaginative Play is a way for children to explore and make sense of the world around them, allowing them to 'act out' experiences they've had or new things they've learnt about.
But that's just a broad definition of Imaginative Play. It can also help with language development, emotional development, and social interactions. Something as basic as learning how to dress can be understood through Dressing Up for Imaginative play activities.
This is why having a dedicated Imaginative Play Zone can be so beneficial in a classroom or early years setting. But what do you need to include to make a good Imaginative Play Zone? Here are the basics...
Every Imaginative Play Zone needs those essentials, the things that everyone has lying around, but can also double up as the perfect role play accessories. We're talking about cardboard boxes, hats, blankets, scarves, masks, and even old clothes you were planning on throwing away! Anything to inspire children's imaginations.
A great Imaginative Play Zone also requires some 'fixed' pieces to anchor the zone. This can be done by including furniture such as a Cupboard, a Carpet for the floor, a dedicated Role Play Unit and a Prop Box.
Next Level Props
A truly spectacular Imaginative Play Zone goes that extra mile, and finds role play resources to support imaginative play activities. For example a Role Play Phone to encourage language development, or Role Play Panels to explore different social interactions. Role Play Props make it easy for children to engage with different scenarios.
It's a Small World
Small World Play is another element of Imaginative Play that can help children express themselves. Having a table or small area dedicated to it would be a great addition to the Imaginative Play Zone.