Imaginative play is a time when children can become anyone they chose to be! They can perform surgery as a doctor, teach the alphabet as a teacher, or blast off to space as an astronaut! Imaginative play develops between the ages of 3-5 years old. The next blog on our age-appropriate toys series is based on pretend play as well as educational and physical toys for 3-5 year olds. Below is our list of store-bought toys, as well as household items or DIY toys that would be great for any toddler:
Store- bought Toys:
• Kitchen set:Since imaginative play is developing during these ages, a kitchen set is a great prop. Your child can explore their imagination by pretending to be a chef.
• Tricycle: At 3 years old, children have most of their gross motor skills down. They are able to pedal on their own, but may not have complete balance just yet. A tricycle is a great starting point when teaching your child how to ride a bike.
• Ball pit: With a baby pool and these colorful balls, you can make your own ball pit! Children will play for hours in this ball pit. It will meet your child’s sensory needs and they can incorporate it into an obstacle course for a gross motor activity.
• LeapTV Educational Gaming System : It is hard to avoid gaming systems in the world of technology. However, this gaming system is an active video game for kids ages 3-8 years old. It combines physically moving and dancing while learning.
Household items/DIY Toys:
• Racecar track : Toy cars mesmerize many kids, so your child would love this DIY track to race their cars on! If you are going on vacation, this is an easy toy to pack up for entertainment on the trip!
• Costume bin: Instead of giving away old clothes, put them in a costume bin. You may think your clothes are out of style, but your children will love to wear your old dresses, shoes, ties, hats and/or purses! They can incorporate their costumes into imaginary play.
• Shaving cream: Between the ages of 4-5 years old, children should start to write the letters of the alphabet. Shaving cream is a creative and fun way to teach your child how to write. Spray shaving cream across a table and use your fingers to write the letters.
• Dolls and stuffed animals: Dolls and stuffed animals are great patients for your child to be doctor for the day. They can also be great students for pretend school. Using dolls and stuffed animals can be props for any imaginary game your child wants to play.
You may become overwhelmed with the amount of toys your child has consumed by the age of 4/5. Instead of buying new toys every year, be creative with the previously owned toys. At the imaginary play stage, children will start to become creative with how they incorporate toys into play. Help them come up with new ways to use their toys during those times.