Pre-schoolers have very active imaginations. Their worlds are full of all kinds of magical and made-up characters. Here are some play ideas and creative activities to nurture your pre-schooler’s imagination as part of her overall learning and development.
What to expect with your pre-schooler’s imagination
Your pre-schooler will probably be very keen on any chance to scribble, draw, paint, paste, sing or dance. Your child is also likely to:
From around three years your child might enjoy dramatic play using puppets and dress-ups, tell you very detailed stories about things that never happened, or have an imaginary friend. Dress-ups and pretend play – for example, pretending to be a grown-up, a doctor or an explorer – let children explore ideas about the real world in a safe environment.
At around four years, your child can draw places, things and people with lots of detail from his imagination.
By five years, your child is starting to get better at drawing complex shapes – like diamonds, triangles and stars – and can express thoughts and ideas through drawing. She might also start to use art to tell stories, show feelings or describe things that she has seen.
You’ll see your child expressing his imagination and ideas in all kinds of creative ways. Get some ideas for creative activities to do with your pre-schooler.
Play ideas and creative activities for pre-schoolers
Here are some play ideas to encourage your child’s imagination:
You can also get creative and make up some activities for your child – these can be cheap and easy to do:
Try to step back and give your child the chance to decide what and how he wants to play. But don’t completely back away – your child still needs you to encourage and help him if he’s having trouble or gets overwhelmed.
All children develop at their own pace. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your child’s development, it’s a good idea to talk with your paediatrician or General Practitioner (GP), your child’s pre-school teacher or your child’s child care educator.