Our Top Toys for Imaginative Play

September 24, 2020Gift Inspiration, Lifestyle

When it comes to playtime, your little one knows that their imagination is where it’s at. Imaginative play is a fun-filled way for children to find the magic in every day as they role play, act out different experiences and explore their own memories and dreams. 

The best part? It’s also secretly educational! Imaginative play is essential for healthy development: little ones will giggle and grin while they practice decision making, work out the right way to behave and develop their social skills. 

The benefits of imaginative play

Language development

Whether they play with a sibling, friend, parent or alone, imaginative play is a wonderful way for children to develop their language skills. This is a space for them to practice words, experiment with new expressions and to listen and react without risk of embarrassment, within the safety of their own imaginary world. 

Cognitive development

As little dreamers explore faraway kingdoms and set off on adventures into space, they are practicing new ways of thinking creatively. As they encounter a fork in the road or disagree with who will play the princess, children learn problem solving skills that they will need in all areas of their lives. 

Physical development

Both verbal and non-verbal communication are key to imaginative play, using their brains and bodies to build new worlds and try on new characters. As they pick up different toys, items and materials, children will develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills that they will need as they grow up. 

Emotional development

As your child acts out a new character and explores different situations and scenarios, they have the opportunity to develop empathy and to express themselves in a relaxed environment. During imaginative play, little ones can feel more free to express their feelings, both positive and negative: to give names to their emotions and learn to recognise and work through them. 

Keep reading for our top pick of toys for imaginative playtime. 

Feeling puzzled

Spark a little one’s imagination with a sweet wooden painted puzzle. Make mischief with monsters, encounter cute woodland creatures and journey to fairytale kingdoms, using each piece as a starting point for a brand new adventure. 

Shop puzzles >

Live their daydreams

As the saying goes, if they see it, they can dream it. Is your little one a budding baker, creative genius or even a future life saver? Wooden playsets provide an opportunity to practice different jobs and roles so that children can try out and see what they might like to be when they grow up.

Shop playsets >

Early learning essentials

For tots who are too tiny for talking, imaginative play can take simpler forms. Essential items like shape sorters and stackers decorated with new furry friends and adorable animals can inspire little minds beyond straightforward cognitive and coordination skills. 

Shop educational toys >

Cute companions

Introduce your little dreamer to a new fuzzy friend to carry with them through the adventure of life. Meet magical unicorns, clever foxes, cuddly bears and beautiful ballerinas to find the perfect match who will share in all of their earliest memories. 

Shop soft toys >

Imaginative play, the easiest and most rewarding way for toddlers to learn about themselves and the possibilities that lie in the world around them. The more your little one plays pretend, the more they will believe in magic, even when they’re all grown up. Tag us in your photos of your children’s inner adventures @My1stYears and #My1stYears on Instagram so we can share in the wonder that can only come with imaginative play. 

With love,

My 1st Years x