We’ve all heard of imaginary friends. In fact let’s be honest, who didn’t have a make believe pal called Jack, James or Jane…?
Still not ready to admit it?
At a glance
- Little brains are already absorbing information
- Encourage their imaginary friend
- Create themes that little ones can play around
What if we told you that having a little invisible friend who had their own place and plate at the table was all part of your brain developing?
This, amongst other things, is what the experts call
creative play and imagination development.
Creative play for newborn - six months
You may not think it, but tiny newborn brains are already forming. They’ll be able to recognise your voice and by week four your newest family member will be able to hold their head up.
Now’s a great time to really get their minds working – remember babies store everything up ready to surprise you later on – invest in a soft book with black and white images, which will appeal to the youngest of eyes.
Talk about animals, cars, their nan, or anything you like – everything is great for forming the creative paths later on.
If you’re going down the farmyard route, for example, tell them all about what each animal does and don’t forget to add the noises!
During this time your little one will begin to form creative patterns in their minds. This will eventually lead the way for them to play out these scenarios with toys when they hit the toddler stage.
At six months, when your little one is sitting up, or cutely trying to, keep the creativity flowing. Invest in their first set of building bricks, such as the Mega Bloks First Builders 60 piece bag.
They may not be able to build anything on their own just yet, but sitting with them and building together while making up scenarios, such as building towers, is an important part of developing their creativity.
Your little one is growing and developing all the time and by the time they reach their first birthday they’ll be exploring their world through their senses, making connections all the time.
Through experience, they learn simple lessons, such as dropping objects makes a noise. Their attention span and short-term memory is also developing.
It’s around this time that you can really cultivate that creativity. Create as much awareness around noise as possible. Buy them their first set of maracas, keyboard or –if you can bear it – toddler drum. Bang or dance around, make lots of noise and just have fun.
Once the noise gets too loud, keep the creativity flowing with some imaginary play. A toddler play table like the Mega Bloks Build ‘n Learn Table is perfect for boys and girls. Play with them, or encourage them to zoom around with the car included– it’s great training for when they get older as they can learn through role play.
Around this age children start to identify favourite toys and themes. This is because their brains are now able to place information into categories (dolls, vehicles, animals). And they also have the words and the imagination to create narratives around these toys.
Themed activities with toys will give your little ones a ready – made opportunity to create and role play. Keep the build ‘n learn table to hand for more playtime fun or invest in other props such as fancy dress outfits. Watch how they tear around the house (otherwise known as their castle/boat/airport) in their own make believe creative world.
Chat to other mums in the Bounty Community for creative play ideas that they have tried and tested with their little ones.