(This was not the original set-up I wasn’t proactive enough to photo that so I had to pull out some of the toys and arrange them on the carpet)
I was reading this blog post by ‘Dirt and Boogers’ and it reminded me of playing with my nephew just the other day. We weren’t playing exactly the way they were but in the same way I was amazed by how his imagination was engaged as he played. I mean, it wasn’t just lego vehicles and houses and people for him, it was the scene he was creating in his mind. We had a mixture of Toy Story and Starwars Legos as well as typical legos, multiple Hess trucks/vehicles and a pirate war ship. I believe there was also an Abominable Snowman figurine thrown in there as well. My cat and dog also made guest appearances as characters in the unfolding adventure. First we had to build some houses (we had the pieces for a Wild West jail as well as a service station) and then we built additional vehicles (a moving van). There was a safe that had money and there was a lump of gold that needed protecting (although not in the safe). My nephew’s bed and desk and desk chair were all incorporated in as well. He had specific paths and tunnels that he created for the bad guys to hide the gold and the good guys could follow but if I tried to take a ‘short cut’ without weaving in and out of the rungs of his chair and then going to the bed I had to start over because I didn’t follow the tunnel that was created by the bad guys.
I loved engaging in this imaginative play although I did notice that whenever I had a good idea he counteracted it with a new scenario or rule so that my guys never got control of the money…
Legos and other figurines are a great way to encourage imaginative play. Depending on the child’s age you may need to set up some structure for them or if they are older let them define the structure. You can use cardboard boxes to create roadways or waterways, or even make ‘buildings’ out of the boxes. This will engage the child in drawing and coloring as well as decorating.
How do your children pretend?