It’s a fact that toddlers need to keep their hands, bodies, and brains busy to feed their creative potentials. Without fun stuff to do, how can they build up their talents and skills?
When caring for our toddlers, it’s crucial to provide them with exciting projects to feed their curious minds. Imagination is the foundation of creativity, relationship skills, and problem-solving.
What Age Does Imaginative Play Begin?
Imaginative Play or pretend play is the act of symbolic play where children assign an object, idea, or action to represent something else.
So when can you start expecting your toddler to engage in pretend play? Here’s a pretend play timeline to take into consideration.
This can start as early as 18-24 months. You may see your toddler acting out the things he or she sees adults doing, like talking on the phone or unlocking a door with keys.
From 24 months, you may see your toddler doing more “play-acting”, things like pretending to be asleep and doing more of the things they see mom and dad do.
From ages 2-3, your toddler’s imaginative play may start to become more complex. With props like bottles and baby accessories, toy dishes, and pretend food, they may start acting out routines they see in the real world.
After age 3 and up, imaginative play is in full swing with storylines, characters and more!
What Are Imaginative Play Toys And Why Do Kids Need Them?
Imaginative toys can help foster a child’s imagination and creativity. Some imaginative toys are also considered open-ended toys, which means that they have no structure or limitation on how they can be used.
The toys can be used in any way the child wants to play depending on their desire or imagination.
For example, it may be necessary to use imaginative play toys for easy car activities to keep toddlers entertained on car rides.
When feeling stuck, kids tend to feel bored with their brains unstimulated. Their minds crave ANY kind of entertainment.
When they’re bored, they tend to find themselves in more troubling situations. Our sensory-seeking kids keep us on our toes, after all.
Before we became parents, we were kids with vivid imaginations.
Luckily, there are amazing imaginative toys for kids and their families. These toys are known to motivate a kid to the max from art, science, engineering, and muscle movement.
Here are 15 of the Best Imaginative Toys!
- Imagination Magnets – Magnets have a way of attracting curious toddlers. This wooden briefcase for tots features two magnetic boards packed with 42 colorful magnified shapes. With 50 puzzle cards included, your toddler will stay busy by crafting different animals, buildings, and scenes with this imaginative hands-on activity.
- Build-A-Garden – If your tot has a natural green thumb, they’ll have a blast creating fields of colorful flowers with their own hands! Great for girls and boys aged 3+, this toy is excellent for developing fine-motor and interpersonal skills while playing with friends.
3. Climb and Crawl Activity Playset – Ideal for getting your tot’s body moving and exploring, this soft and durable 4-piece playset is perfect for tumbling around indoors. By creating different obstacles around the house, your toddler will be set for an active and entertaining day ahead.
- Charades for Kids Game – Kids have to think quickly on their feet to communicate without using their words! This classic spin on Charades is ideal for non-readers and allows kids to actively build their communication skills with the whole family or classroom.
- Goobi Juniors Play Sticks – A favorite amongst the tiniest of tots, this STEM-learning certified toy features bright colors and easy-to-build shapes. With 20 Jumbo sticks, the colorful pieces are easy for little hands to build and create their first structures.
- Jumbo Tub of Craft – Crafts can be created with the most simple of materials. Stuffed with kid-friendly supplies, this tub of crafts will help fulfill your toddler’s sensory-seeking needs. Perfect for a rainy day and with an adult’s fun-filled supervision.
7. Slice & Share Picnic Basket – Sharing food with others can spark heartfelt feelings amongst friends. These fun-filled moments are meant to be shared with your toddler! This adorable picnic basket provides a fun and meaningful way of play by featuring high-quality wooden pieces that can be “sliced” for a yummy pretend lunch.
8. Toddler Tool Bench – Handy toddlers will be thrilled to get their hands on this tool bench. With a battery-operated drill and matching tools, your child will have a blast staying productive while learning the basics of handiness and home improvement.
9. 125-Piece Magnetic Tiles – If your toddler can imagine it, they can build it with this large set of magnetic tubes and tiles! Get ready to spend hours on innovative designs by creating limitless mazes for this marble-run spinoff activity. This set of Amazon currently has a 20% off coupon attached to this product, so grab those savings while they last.
- 3-D Construction Drill Set – When you think the creativity behind products has run out, think again! This STEAM-based toy set brings engineering and art into one, ideal for toddlers itching to discover an innovative activity. There’s a $5 off coupon you can clip before checkout, making this deal extra sweet.
11. 101-Piece STEM Engineering Set – From trucks, trains, and any other automobile, your toddler will find enjoyment in reaching for this colorful engineering set. This easy-to-build activity kit has endless ways to build and create fun and functional objects for young ones.
12. Jumbo Doodle Floor Mat – Laying on the floor is something that all kids do. This large doodle mat is spacious, providing your child a designated area on the floor to draw, stamp, and create to their heart’s content. It also keeps things mess-free while providing hours of entertainment for youngsters.
13. Compact Kitty Doodle Tablet – If your child finds comfort in curling up with a pen and notepad, this kid’s drawing tablet will make an excellent gift. Cute, inviting, and easy-to-grasp for little hands, this tablet allows kids to quietly explore open-ended creativity.
14. Little Hero Capes and Masks – Wham! Bam! BOOM! What kid doesn’t want to be born with superpowers? Perfect for a high-flying preschool party, this vibrant set of superhero (or supervillain) masks and capes encourage boundless imagination and play amongst a group of creative kids.
15. My 1st Career Pretend Play Costumes – What does your child want to be when they grow up? This set of 8 child-sized career costumes will put your toddler in the shoes of a modern working professional. Role-playing is an excellent method to introduce your toddler to modern-day heroes, sparking their inspiration to explore real-life careers.
Every Toddler Needs Toys That Encourage Imagination
Without regular body movement and stimulation, our kid’s imaginations will begin to fizzle. What can you do as a parent to boost your child’s imagination?
- Explore your child’s interests and allow their creative ideas run free.
- Introduce them to a new activity when they’ve mastered another.
- Rotating toys often to keep things interesting around your home.
- Join your kids in their creative adventures.
- Be open to mess-making when providing your child with productive games and activities.
To keep things interesting, you can create real-life or imaginary scenarios to ignite your toddler’s problem-solving skills.
When your child wants to present their creations, show genuine interest in their projects. It’s essential to provide positive feedback to your creative child. Their innovation and day-to-day skills will grow and improve.
I hope this hand-picked list has helped you find the perfect toy to spark your toddler’s imagination.
Related post: The Ultimate Toddler Learning Tower List
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