This blog has its focus on the importance of Fantasy play in your child’s life. In fact, it is central to their learning and development. When they play, it gives them lots of different ways to learn about themselves, their world, and others.
This is one of the reasons KidZplay has developed a range of fantasy play toys – but these points below will of course apply to any imaginative use – even a toilet roll inner!
Fantasy play assists in:
When one uses the imagination, you act out situations that you may need to face in ‘real’ life. Practising being the leader or organiser builds confidence and ability to handle new situations. Children also build self-esteem when they discover they can be anything just by pretending!
Developing social skills, language, and communication.
Pretend play allows children to experiment with and begin to understand the power of language. Children often use the words and phrases they hear their parents and/or teachers say as they imitate others during imaginative play. When they engage in imaginative play, they create or re-enact a story, making valuable connections between spoken and written language.
Learning about caring for others.
When children engage in fantasy play, they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, they learn how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. When they pretend to be different characters, they have the experience of “walking in someone else’s shoes”, which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. It is normal for young children to see the world from their own egocentric point of view, but through maturation and cooperative play, children will begin to understand the feelings of others.
Developing physical skills.
Climbing in and out of the various fantasy play toys and planning moves requires physical co-ordination and agility. These skills are honed as the various toys are used in different ways.
Promoting cognitive skills.Pretend play helps children understand the importance of symbols, a core skill that allows them to discover that letters stand for sounds and numbers for amounts. This is how they learn about the concepts of language and maths. To grown-ups, a fantasy play toy may just be a small version of the real thing, to a child, it may become the world winning model to win the championship. This is an essential step in learning symbolic thinking.
Feeling loved, happy, and safe.
Safety has always been a huge concern in the construction of our equipment. In constructing the fantasy toys, KidZplay has given heed to safety and ensuring as far as we can that there are no areas of concern. If you look at the expressions of the children ‘lost’ in imaginative play on a fantasy toy, you will know they are feeling loved, happy, and safe!
Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Imagination is the door to possibilities. It is where creativity, ingenuity, and thinking outside the box begin for child development. Imaginative and creative play is how children learn about the world. During imaginative play, children manipulate equipment, express themselves verbally and non-verbally, plan (intentionally or unintentionally), act, interact, react, and try different roles.
Great opportunities for learning are possible when children participate in fantasy play – what better way to do this than with fantasy toys.
I hope this has helped you see Fantasy Play in a new way and encouraged you to remember the importance of dress up equipment, sand pits and toys.
Have fun as you think of new ways to help your child engage with their imagination.