March 14th (Albert Einstein’s birthday) marks a celebration of all the big imaginations everywhere – it’s World Imagination Day! Here, we discuss why Einstein was so right when he said ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ and highlight the best Little Tikes toys certain to bring out your little one’s imaginative side.
Imaginative play (or ‘make believe’) is when children role play scenarios, explore familiar or unfamiliar events or re-enact memorable parts of their day. And imagination-driven play is so important because it helps them to develop a lot of their life-long skills – it’s how they learn. Got a little drummer in a world-famous rock band? A mini cafe owner serving the best coffee in town or a chef who’s a whizz in their play kitchen? Here’s how those big imaginations are helping to shape the next generation of Einsteins…
Why imaginative play is so great
When children play, it might look like simple fun but they’re actually starting to understand the world around them and their relation to it. Imaginative play doesn’t have any boundaries – and that’s the best bit! It’s a joy to watch! Your little one is tapping into their creativity and exploring all kinds of images and ideas, however far-fetched. But behind the scenes, there’s a lot going on. They’re beginning to develop problem-solving skills, as well as getting to grips with their emotions. Through imaginative play, they also learn important social qualities like sharing, cooperation and empathy, and learn to thrive in group play.
The best toys for imaginative play
Children don’t need a lot to stretch their imagination – a cardboard box can become a spaceship or a twig can become the magic wand that turns the whole family into leaping frogs! At Little Tikes, we make play and we make it with their imagination in mind so we’ve rounded up our fave picks for encouraging their creative side:
My First Mighty Blasters
Bring out the superhero in your child with the My First Mighty Blasters range, which has been specifically designed for soft and safe role play fun for ages three and above. Ducking, diving, hiding… These cool blasters come with oversized soft pods, bright designs and an easy launch system that little hands will find a doddle.
Ice Princess Magic Mirror
The princess shall go to the ball – Ice Princess Magic Mirror said so! Little princesses who adore fairy-tale endings will have loads of fun with this trendy mirror, which comes with a number of accessories, lights and sounds to help them get ready for the big event.
Magic Flower Water Table
For a water table with a twist, Magic Flower Water Table has it all! Pouring and splashing fun will keep them entertained for hours – especially when they uncover the surprises this unique water table has in store. You’ve told us how easy it is to assemble too so this magical toy is a winner all round!
Gas ‘n Go Mower
Imaginative play quite often stems from what they’ve seen you and other adults doing – pottering around the kitchen, doing the washing or watching TV. That’s why Gas ‘n Go Mower is a great choice for prompting fun role play. They’ll love helping you keep the garden nice and trim – this mower looks just like the real thing!
Cozy Coupe© Dino
The much-loved Cozy Coupe© has been a hit with little ones for generations – but this version with its dinosaur makeover will really kick their imagination into gear! Cozy Coupe© Dino lets them lead the pack in style. Your mini imaginator will love pretending they’re moving through town with all their dino friends at their side!
Wheels on the Bus Scoot
Little Tikes has teamed up with popular YouTube series Little Baby Bum to create a range of toys based on the nursery rhymes of the show. And Wheels on the Bus Scoot – or Buster, as the character is known in the series – is a 2-in-1 ride-in and push-along toy. With their favourite nursery rhyme playing, your little one will enjoy pretending they’re driving a bus taking all their friends to nursery!
Where will your child’s imagination take them on World Imagination Day? Be sure to come and get involved, and tell us all about what weird and wonderful escapades you’ve found yourself part of in your little one’s imaginative play!