At a particular time around 18-24 months, toddlers begin to recognize actions that adults do. As a result, toddlers try to imitate these actions, such as using a phone or saying the words they hear through their baby language. As they reach their 3rd year, toddlers begin incorporating these imitated actions with their ideas, creating scenarios that foster creativity and imagination as they mature. Therefore, it is crucial to supplement this growth with imaginative play toys that will help increase their development to the next level.
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The Benefits of Incorporating Imaginative Toys to a Toddler’s Playtime
Toddlers are inherently observant. Your little angel is probably watching you as you do your daily activities, from talking on the telephone, doing chores, and even when you sleep. Consequently, toddlers try to imitate the things they see, whether from the television or their parents’ actions. Through imitating the things they observe, toddlers learn through play and develop different skills such as imaginative thinking, creativity, and many more. So, without further ado, let’s look at the various benefits of incorporating your toddler’s playtime with imaginative toys.
Develops creativity and imagination
Improving a toddler’s creative thinking and imagination is an absolute must. According to Dr Gummer, loosely supervised roleplay is common among pre-school children. Through roleplaying, children benefit from assimilating other identities, which improves their imaginative and creative thinking. Therefore, we suggest that imaginative play toys supplement this growth with an enjoyable and engaging learning experience for your toddler.
Nurtures independent thinking
Letting your children play with imaginative play toys will surely improve their independent thinking by generating their scenarios. In addition, giving your children a platform to explore a wide array of possibilities is beneficial, especially when they try to play with open-ended imaginative toys. For example, watch as your toddler express their idea of playing with toys such as a pretend cash register or garden.
Develops fine motor skills
Playing with toys that requires handling, such as the best-selling vet playsets or kids cash register, further develops a toddler’s fine motor skills. For instance, children that play with dolls may learn how to button a shirt. In addition, letting toddlers play with toys that require handling improves their hand-eye coordination. Imaginative play toys develop these skills further by providing children with a safe atmosphere to learn to use toy scissors, combs, and many more!
Improves language and communication skills
As toddlers play with imaginative play toys, they learn how to incorporate words they hear during playtime. For example, a child playing with a toy doctor set may say the word “nurse” to their imaginative assistant as they try to operate with their dolls. As a result, this encourages their language and communication skills to grow. Toddlers will soon learn how to construct more complex sentences as they widen their vocabulary by listening to their surroundings.
Encourages Social Development
As your toddler plays through various scenarios, they learn how to play with their parents and other children. This instance fosters social development as they try to communicate and make sense of the social situation in their playtime. For example, parents can guide their children with their norms and culture under parent-supervised imaginative play, preparing their toddlers for proper etiquette when socializing with others.
Encourages Emotional Development
As toddlers begin to play, they also start to explore their emotions. Imaginative and pretend play are good platforms to let toddlers explore their feelings. Toddlers tend to learn emotions through pretend play by assimilating their toy’s perspective; these enable them to imagine how their toy would feel in a particular scenario. In addition, imaginative play that encourages nurturing toys leads to toddlers experience an early concept of empathy.
Things to Consider when Buying Imaginative Play Toys
Incorporating imaginative play toys into your toddler’s playtime is beneficial; however, we must first look at the different things to consider when buying one. Careful consideration is essential, especially when we provide toddlers with a safe playing environment that fosters the growth of their skills. Therefore, parents must carefully consider a toddler’s age, toy’s features, materials, and safety when buying the best imaginative play toys.
Before buying an imaginative play toy, it is imperative to check if your toddler’s age fits the manufacturer’s recommended age range. In addition, some toy manufacturers put warning labels on possible choking hazards included in the toy. Therefore, it is essential to check the labels and product descriptions to ensure a safe learning playtime for your toddler.
What are imaginative play toys if they do not keep your toddler engaged? A toy that possesses numerous features enables your toddler to explore and learn more in their playtime. In addition, having more toy features encourages your child to be more creative and imaginative during playtime, enabling them to generate scenarios no matter how simple or complex.
It is essential to check for a toy’s manufacturing material before making a purchase. Parents should look for imaginative toys that incorporate 100% non-toxic, odorless, and durable materials in their design. It is also advisable to look for responsibly sourced wooden toys instead of plastic offerings. However, wooden toys are more expensive than plastic toys; therefore, we made this list balanced between wooden and plastic toy offerings.
The 10 Best Imaginative Play Toys from Amazon
Bigjigs Toys Wooden Shop Till with Scanner
Age Level: 3 years and up.
What is great about this toy: Encourages mathematical learning aside from roleplaying.
What is not great about this toy: The toy’s currency doesn’t resemble real money.
The Bigjigs Wooden Shop is an excellent toy to incorporate into your child’s playtime that encourages roleplaying and fosters a fun and enjoyable environment to learn mathematics. In addition, like the top 10 kids cash registers, the Bigjigs Toys Wooden Shop Till includes a scanner, telephone, receipt roll, credit card, and play money. These features will indeed engage your toddler as they explore the different functions of the Bigjigs Toys Wooden Shop.
Bigjigs guarantees that their Wooden Shop Till is made from non-toxic and responsibly sourced materials to ensure your child’s safety. Furthermore, the Bigjigs Toys Wooden Shop Till with Scanner meets the current European safety standards for toys, ensuring parents with worry-free playtime with their toddler.
Let your toddler be the cashier of their shop with the Bigjigs Toys Wooden Shop Till with Scanner today!
deAO Kids Role Play Dentist, Surgeon & Vet Medical
Type: Medical-themed Imaginative Play Toy set.
Age Level: 3 years and up.
What is great about this toy: Features 30 accessories considering its low price.
What is not great about this toy: This plastic-made playset includes small parts that are possible choking hazards.
The deAO medical-themed imaginative play toy will surely help your children develop their fine motor skills, creativity, imagination, and communication skills. Including 30 accessories, let your children use the medical tools included to improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. In addition, the included accessories will provide your child with unrestrained playtime filled with numerous possibilities.
Let your toddler nurture toys with the deAO Kids Role Playset and further their emotional skills and understanding of empathy. Furthermore, let your toddler develop their language skills as they communicate with their toys while playing! For your convenience, the deAO Kids Role Playset includes a carrying case that is portable, perfect for family gatherings and holidays.
If you are looking for more toys like the deAO Kids Role Playset, then you will love our list of the ten best-selling vet playsets.
Le Toy Van – London Double Decker Vehicle Toy
Type: Wooden Bus Imaginative Play Toy
Age Level: 3 years old and above.
What is great about this toy: The toy consists of 100% responsibly sourced wood.
What is not great about this toy: The wooden toy bus lacks accessories.
Let your toddler explore the vast city of London with the Le Toy Van London Double-decker Wooden Vehicle Toy. The Le Toy Van features a colorful design to help your children with color recognition. In addition, the highly saturated color of the Le Toy Van Double Decker Bus enables your child to see the boundaries of the toy clearly, furthering their spatial awareness. Moreover, the Le Toy Van London Double-decker Vehicle Toy encourages open-ended play, and imaginative thinking as your toddler plays with it.
The award-winning Le Toy Van ensures that their toys use non-toxic coatings, meeting the highest safety standards for toy manufacturing. Furthermore, the Le Toy Van London Double-decker Vehicle Toy consists of natural materials such as responsibly sourced rubberwood. As a result, Le Toy Van provides only the best quality handcrafted toys for the tender hands of your toddler.
Tidlo T0302 Wooden Washing Machine
Type: Wooden Washing Machine
Age Level: 3 years and above.
What is great about this toy: This wooden toy teaches toddlers the basics of laundry while immersing themselves in their imaginative play.
What is not great about this toy: The Wooden Washing Machine lacks features considering its price.
Toddlers love to imitate what they see adults do. From cooking, vacuuming the carpet, and even when doing laundry! The Tidlo Wooden Washing Machine teaches toddlers responsibility as they go about their imaginative and creative play. In addition, parents can utilize this play toy with different colored clothes, teaching toddlers color recognition.The Tidlo T0302 Wooden Washing Machine is an excellent addition to your toddler’s existing roleplay set. The included spin dial and large wash door add a touch of realism to the toy.
Tidlo ensured that this wooden washing machine features only high-quality and responsibly sourced woods. Moreover, the Tidlo T0302 Wooden Washing Machine features non-toxic materials that conform to the highest European safety standards.
DUPLO – Modular Playhouse
Type: Plastic Playhouse.
Age Level: 2 years and above.
What is great about this toy: This modular playhouse provides your toddler with unlimited imaginative possibilities during playtime.
What is not great about this toy: This modular playhouse features small parts that may pose a choking hazard.
The LEGO DUPLO Modular Playhouse is a perfect choice for parents looking to bond with their toddlers as they explore the realms of their creativity and imagination. The LEGO DUPLO Modular Playhouse enables parents and their toddler to assemble the toy while having fun. Once finished, watch as your toddler practice their words while enacting the roleplaying scenario they have in mind.
The LEGO DUPLO Modular Playhouse stimulates a child’s imagination by providing an open-ended playset that encourages idea generation. This imaginative playset from LEGO DUPLO puts your child in a home where the actions of family members are in the palm of their hands. Let your child develop their social skills, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination by playing with the different pieces within the playset.
To provide your toddler with a safe play toy, LEGO DUPLO ensures that their Modular Playhouse meets the highest European safety standards when it comes to toys. However, LEGO DUPLO still recommends that parents supervise their children during playtime as the small parts in the Modular Playhouse can pose a choking hazard.
JOYIN Animal Friends Deluxe Hand Puppets
Type: Washable Animal Puppets
Age Level: 3 years and above.
What is great about this toy: The toy is simple to operate and provides toddler with an ideal platform to practice their language skills.
What is not great about this toy: The toy is easy to crease and requires ironing from time to time.
Perfect for children learning to talk, watch as your toddler makes the puppets talk to each other while using his own constructed sentences! Furthermore, parents can incorporate these puppets during storytime, improving a toddler’s imagination and creativity, especially when processing verbally told stories. Moreover, the JOYIN Animal Friends Deluxe Hand Puppets are perfect for developing a child’s hand-eye coordination as they try to synchronize the puppet’s mouth to their words.
For the convenience of parents, the JOYIN Animal Friends Deluxe Hand Puppets are machine washable and easy to clean. Also, its construction consists comprise of a durable and smooth fabric which are gentle to your toddler’s hands. Furthermore, the JOYIN Animal Friends Deluxe Hand Puppets passed the highest United Kingdom Toy standard for your child’s safety.
Engage your children with an imaginative play that enhances their language skill at the same time with the JOYIN Animal Friends Deluxe Hand Puppets!
Le Toy Van – Pretend Play Educational Wooden Ark Role Play Toy
Age Level: 3 years and above.
What is great about this toy: Excellent toy to incorporate imaginative play and religious beliefs.
What is not great about this toy: The wooden toy ark features small parts that may pose a choking hazard.
Incorporate the story of Noah’s Ark into your child’s imaginative and creative play. The Le Toy Van- Pretend Play Educational Wooden Ark includes Noah, Naamah, and ten pairs of meticulously handcrafted animals. The Le Toy Van Pretend Play Educational Wooden Ark parts consist of high-quality wood and safe coatings. Most importantly, your child’s safety is Le Toy Van’s priority; therefore, this wooden ark set complies with the strictest EN71 toy safety regulations.
This Educational Wooden Ark is an excellent choice for parents looking to improve their toddler’s imaginative roleplay. In addition, this playset supports your child’s fine motor skills as they grab the toys and move them around the ark. Let your toddler formulate their own Noah’s ark story with the unlimited possibilities the included toys offer.
Learning Resources Pretend and Play Post Office
Age Level: 5 years and up.
What is great about this toy: Features 167 accessories that fit in its tri-fold construction.
What is not great about this toy: The features are too advanced for children younger than 5 years old.
Packed with 167 accessories, the Learning Resources Pretend and Play Post Office is the perfect open-ended play toy for your toddler. Allow your child to fill in the shoes of a post office shopkeeper and observe as they develop their mathematical, communicative, and language, and fine motor skills. With the included accessory with the Learning Resources Play Post Office, the possibilities for your toddler is endless!
Learning Resources knows that imaginative play at a young age is essential; therefore, their Play Post Office features a life-like replica of different currencies, postcards, stamps, passports, drivers license, and many more! These replicas provide toddlers with an immersive and engaging environment as they work their way to learn through their imaginative play.
Incorporate realism into your child’s imaginative play with the Learning Resources Pretend and Play Post Office!
LEGO Trolls World Tour Lonesome Flats Raft Adventure Playset
Age Level: 4 years and up.
What is great about this toy: Reasonable price point considering it’s from LEGO.
What is not great about this toy: The toy features some accessories that may pose a choking hazard.
Watch your toddler enjoy as they immerse in the musical world of Trolls! Toddlers will surely enjoy the playset’s floating raft, dancefloor, jailhouse lock-up and various roleplay accessories. Allow your children to style the highly customizable Trolls before engaging with them for an unforgettable imaginative play.
Your toddler will surely enjoy countless hours playing with Poppy, Branch, and Hickory. The open-ended play of the LEGO Trolls playset offers hours and hours of fun for toddlers as they put their imagination and creativity into play. Bring the fun world of Trolls at the palm of your child with the LEGO Trolls World Tour Lonesome Flats Raft Adventure Playset!
B.Toys Mini Chef Kitchenette
Age Level: 2 years and above.
What is great about this toy: Easy to follow instructions during assembly.
What is not great about this toy: Accessories included consists of an all-plastic construction.
Let your toddler’s imagination sizzle with the Mini Chef Kitchenette by B.Toys. The Mini Chef Kitchenette includes accessories perfect for imaginative play, such as an oven, cutlery set, plates, microwave, sink, dish rack, cloth hanger, and a refrigerator. The accessories included with the Mini Chef Kitchenette provides endless scenarios for your little one to enjoy.
The Mini Chef Kitchenette’s accessories feature a realistic plastic design to make your toddler’s imaginative playtime more immersive. In addition, the wood construction of the Mini Chef Kitchenette provides a sturdy and safe playing environment for toddlers as they go on about their playtime. Don’t worry; the assembly of the Mini Chef Kitchenette is super easy as the toy comes with instructions upon shipping!
Let the passion in your little chef burn with the Mini Chef Kitchenette by B.Toys.
Frequently Asked Questions about Imaginative Play Toys
Q: What is imaginative play in childcare?
A: Imaginative play in childcare occurs when children incorporate their imagination into various make-believe scenarios that they have created. In addition, imaginative play is an open-ended playtime wherein a child decides the outcome of their scenario. Frequently, the scenarios that children recreate came from events that they have observed in their environment.
Q: What is an imaginative activity?
A: Imaginative activity is any event wherein an individual utilizes their imagination. According to psychologists, imaginative activity among children happens when they idealize situations and act out the flow of their desired outcome.
Q: How does pretend play help a child’s development?
A: Through pretend play, children utilizes and develops their communicative, social, imaginative and creative thinking. In addition, by incorporating this play with toys, children enhance their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Q: Is pretend play important?
A: Through pretend play, children explore their emotions, communicative skills, social skills, and other fundamental skills required for their development. Therefore, parents must supplement this growth brought about by pretend play with the best imaginative play toys.
Q: At what age does imaginative play begin?
A: Imaginative play among toddlers begin within the age of 18 and 24 months. The complexity of imaginative play evolves as toddlers grow. By the age of 3-4 years old, toddlers begin to incorporate complex imaginative play with their imaginative play toys.