One of the absolute best forms of play for your developing baby is imaginary play. This means your child’s imagination is doing the work rather than the toy, and he is able to create his own scenes and scenarios rather than playing through ones that have been preordained for him by the design or function of a toy. Imaginative play takes many forms including dolls, dress up clothes, tea parties, construction equipment, and more.
Full imaginative play doesn’t develop until the preschool years, but you should set a foundation as early as possible by encouraging your child to use his mind for play rather than being entertained. Encourage imaginative play for your child in many ways.
Limit Screen Time
Buy the Basics
Another problem with toys that have voices of any kind is they leave little room for expanded play. Watch your toddler or preschooler for a few minutes and you’ll see that the blocks become a mobile phone or camera and cars become spaceships. If the kitchen tells you what you’re cooking, how can your child pretend to be anything but what she’s told she is?
When possible, skip the bells and whistles and opt for the more basic toys. A good rule of thumb is to buy toys without batteries when possible and then sit down with your child to help him grow outside of the proverbial box.
Play Across Toys
Other siblings can get in on the game by bringing the fire truck in to clean up the mess and perhaps even a Barbie doctor can make sure there were no wounded individuals. Let action figures take on new roles and encourage the use of mundane objects such as bowls, pots and pans in regular play.
Stimulate the Mind
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