Role play toys to indulge their imagination

by Emily Gilbert |

As a parent, naturally, you want to encourage your child's imagination to roam free. One great way to do this is by selecting some role play toys for them to play with. It may feel like you're simply buying even more toys that you'll need to find a home for, but actually, it's much more than that.

‘Children benefit enormously from imaginative play,’ says play, toys and child development expert Dr Amanda Gummer. ‘And it’s a vital part of their development. They learn so much through it, from the understanding and management of their own emotions to critical thinking and social skills they will use well into adulthood.’

When to buy role play toys

Sometime after their second birthday, your youngster will start saying ‘I’ and ‘You’, and this is a tell-tale sign that their imagination is beginning to fire on all cylinders.‘Your child has grasped the fact that they're an individual, and that the other people around them are individuals too, distinct and independent from them,’ explains Amanda.

‘And from there comes the realisation that other people have different opinions and perspectives. What follows is
the ability to step into another person’s shoes, and imagine what they might be thinking or doing.’ So your tot will begin to imagine themself in the role of Mummy or Daddy – or whoever else they see around them, in real life or in books or on the TV.

They'll start to use their toys more imaginatively now, too, which is why now is the perfect time to invest in some role play toys. Because when they're imagining that they're Mummy, they might pretend their teddy is a baby, and attempt to feed it a banana, thinking that it’s a bottle of milk. Their imagination has developed sufficiently to be able to fill in the gaps.

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