A child’s imagination is one of the most wonderful and amazing parts of watching them grow up. They have such a unique way of viewing the world and imaginative toys can help foster the way they play.
I have scoured the internet and found the best toys for imaginative play.
What Is Imaginative Play?
So what is imaginative play? Imaginative play is when children portray a certain role and act it out. Children can participate in imaginative play alone or with other children.
What Age Groups Enjoy Imaginative Play?
I think all children from around 18 months to even 7 and 8 year olds enjoy imaginative play.
Choosing Imaginative Toys
Choosing imaginative toys can be challenging because there are just so many options. I like to try and choose toys that have multiple uses and are rather open ended.
For example, pretend food can be used to play chef, grocery store, serving, eating a meal, etc. There are lots of ways to use more open ended toys, which encourages children to use their imagination.
Our Favorite Imaginative Toys
Here are a few of Teaching Littles favorite imaginative toys!
These building straws can assemble various shapes such as airplanes, cruise ships, deformed cars, castles, robots, animals, etc. It is a great STEM activity that exercises engineering skills, mathematics, structure, reasoning, and imagination.
This set lets your child be an engineer, architect, or designer. This construction block offers open-ended possibilities to nurture children’s creativity and intelligence, promote problem-solving ability, logical thinking, and improve hand-eye coordination. It allows them to gain a strong sense of color, counting, and staying focused by playing to foster STEM skills.
We have all been trying to clean with our children underfoot. This cleaning set is a great way to let them feel included in the cleaning while allowing you to get the job done.
Sensory Focused Imaginative Toys
Children love things that stimulate their senses and toys that promote sensory stimuli are great to have!
Pop, Crinkle, Pull, Stretch! Stimulate your child’s imagination and explore endless creative ways to play with our Pop Tubes! Create shapes, letters, and make up games for hours of entertainment. Our Pop Tubes stretch over 2 feet and can connect for even more fun. Marble races, hoola hoops, jump ropes – the list of ways to play has no end!
Create your own pretend play flower garden in an ultimate sensory play experience! Engage the senses with a unique play space bin filled with easy to mold sensory sand in 2 colors, faux flowers and critters, shovel, tongs and more!
Use this sensory toy as an opportunity to engage in cognitive tasks like counting or sorting—or enjoy open-ended playtime and encourage your little one to tell stories.
This is just what you are looking for! This toy provides your little one with many more hours of enjoyment, encouraging fine motor skills and development to strengthen their little hands. Our tongs for kids, toddler bowls, and the other pieces are the perfect size for their little hands to play with. Bin and loose parts are not included.
Imaginative Toys That Encourage Creativity
Stimulating creativity is so important for little minds. These toys will give your little ones lots of ideas and opportunities to be creative!
The doctor will see you now! The 25-piece Melissa & Doug Get Well Doctor’s Kit Play Set offers realistic accessories let little doctors help patients get well! Kids three and older can pretend to check temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, eyesight, hearing, and more.
The play set is a fun and engaging way to ease any feelings of stress associated with a visit to the doctor and to encourage nurturing and empathetic play. Spark a child’s creativity and imagination, and inspire young healers for years to come!
It’s never too early to start developing kids creativity. Children can acquire strong sense of colors, numbers, counts, sorts.
These sorting and stacking toys are great for developing fine motor skills and preschool learning. The preschool building sets provide hours of fun and encourage creativity using suction toys.
his toy encourages creativity. Help cultivate children’s spatial relationship, 3D space imagination and eye-hand coordination. Kids enjoy playing with them and learn how to build simple things very quickly. Easily create exciting 3D structures within minutes. The blocks are easy for little fingers to handle, attach with a bare minimum of pressure, and stay locked firmly in place.
Artistic Imaginative Toys
Artistic imaginative toys are a great way to foster those artistic skills and encourage learning through art.
Designed with a super cute Dinosaur pattern, this LCD writing tablet is a perfect learning toy for young boys. It’s a great tool to help toddlers free their imagination and creativity. It can be used as a drawing pad, toddler drawing board, drawing tablet, writing board, light drawing pad for kids, scribble board, or magic graphic tablet.
With this arts & crafts set, you’ll learn the traditional technique of marbling paint. With no need for a painting foundation, the water marbling paint set is suitable for kids of all ages and adults. Follow the instruction booklet, drop the paint on the drawing liquid, swirl into any pattern, and transfer it onto paper.
Make your windows pop with 20 whimsical window art creations. Color 12 suncatcher shapes and create custom window clings with these vibrant suncatcher paints!
This classic toy is a great way to allow your children to express themselves. They have the option to either use one of the six included design templates or even create a design all of their own!
Pretend Play Imaginative Toys
My kids love pretend play and I am sure that yours do too! Pretend play is a great way to encourage being creative and use their imagination.
This wooden camping toys set for kids contains 45 pcs of different tools and play food that a fun and delicious camping BBQ would need. The rich accessories will give your little camper a real experience and endless camping fun.
This kids ice cream play set comes with toppings and a reusable menu so children can take orders, pay with play money, and serve up deliciousness, just like their favorite ice cream shop. The Wooden Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter makes a great gift for kids ages 3 and up!
This till is great for practicing your counting skills, acting out shopping day scenarios, and playing with friends. It is not only stylish, gender-neutral, and fun, but educational too. Your mini shop owner can scan goods and offer different payment methods including credit card, cash, and even offer a receipt for their customers!
This Pop-Up Toaster toy kitchen set contains a chopping board, 3 slices of butter, 2 slices of bread, a knife, a poached egg, and a bottle of honey bear. With all of these kitchen tools and food, kids are able to cook their own breakfast!
Imaginative Building Toys
Imaginative toys encourage outside of the box thinking by providing endless opportunities to create and build.
This toy allows your little one to easily build rectangles or other geometric shapes, enhance hand-eye coordination, cognitive ability, spatial thinking, early math, creativity, and imagination. It is a perfect present for school classroom activities, party favors, intelligent learning toys, baby shower gifts, birthday parties, Holiday gifts, and more.
This attractive, transparent rainbow magnet toy set is designed as an educational toy to help build a kid’s sense of creativity and get a better understanding of color, geometrical shapes, and develop motor skills and creative thinking. Every time your toddler says “I’m bored”, take them out and then he/she will pick a STEM activity to do for hours.
There is no better way to let your child express themselves and use their imagination than with some basic building blocks. The different shapes and colors are the perfect way for them to bring their ideas to life!
While it may seem like a fairly simplistic, these beads are a fantastic way for your children to express themselves. It allows them to make a little necklace to show off while helping them work on their fine motor skills.
Frequently Asked Questions About Imaginative Toys
You may have questions about imaginative play, but here are some of the most common questions!
Why are imaginative toys important?
Imaginative toys are important because they help children to use their imaginations and learn to play with others in a creative and fun way.
When does imaginative play start?
Imaginative play starts around 18-24 months old. You will see toddlers start to pick up toys and pretend like they are cooking or tasting something, or picking up a baby doll and shush or feed it.
Developmentally speaking, imaginative play is important. It is important for us as care givers to help our children with toys to help foster and encourage imaginative play.
What are your kids favorite toys for imaginative play? Let me know in the comments below!