Hey there. We’re The Early Years Count team sending you fresh info and fun ideas to your inbox.
Want to play? Sign up now to receive tips, ideas and fun ways to make your child’s early years count.
From around 8-18 months, your baby will start using their imagination in play.
Your baby is learning about new sights, sounds, feelings and experiences through play and their interactions with you, and they will want to practice the things they are learning. Using their imagination is a way to test out ideas and concepts.
The beginning of imaginative play might be using a spoon or a carrot as a spaceship or car, or pretend play, like babbling to a block to be on the phone or pretending to cook dinner with blocks in a bowl. This is open-ended play, it is non-structured and allows your baby to guide their own learning and use their imagination.
Following your child’s lead and reacting to the game shows your child they are communicating their ideas and boosts self-confidence.
Getting creative with toys and games helps encourage your child to use their imagination. Making musical instruments by using upside-down buckets as drums and pot lids as cymbals, or encouraging drawing by providing crayons and paper, stimulates young minds and inspires imaginative play.
Visiting different places with your child gives them the opportunity to experience new things and learn more about the world around them. Stimulating experiences also provide a great opportunity for imaginative play.