What is imaginative play?
I understand it to be just letting your imagination create a reality. You can pretend to make a meal out of a pile of sand. You can build a castle from blocks. You can ride an invisible unicorn through the living room. Doesn’t matter if you’re actually holding something or if your child has suitable toys, you can pretend. That’s a wonderful thing.
I truly believe that one of childhood’s most special gifts is imagination. It is raw, all consuming, unlimited and rich. As we get older, some of it fades away. For those lucky ones, a small part. The ability to look at a plate and spoon and make an imaginary meal, make the shape of clouds, build ports, sprinkle pixie dust and fly are childhood treasures.
You probably won’t see any adult doing these things. It is so important to let our children dream, visualize and pretend. I think imaginative play inspires dreams and dreams turn in to hopes and desires.
Do what you can to encourage your children to play imaginatively. Participate for one thing. It is so much better for them to see that they are not alone in believing certain things. If they envision a reality, be part of that reality.
I know it sometimes feels a bit goofy. I got stared at so many times jumping down the street pretending to fly with pixie dust, because my kids had read Peter Pan and wanted to fly. So what? Isn’t is life affirming to your kids to see an adult who believes their imagination?
They will surely have their teen years to disburse and parish their imaginative past. For now, enjoy with them. If nothing else, you will create beautiful memories together, and that’s all that matters.