Huckleberry would be happy if all we ever let him play with were sticks and stones, but those are not great indoor toys. And although our social media feeds may not suggest it, we do spend time inside. So, what does Huckleberry play with when he’s not in the great outdoors? Not much, actually. We did a very good job of minimizing the number of toys that made their way into our 2-bedroom apartment. And we also did a good job of making sure those few toys that made the cut offered imaginative play.
According to Learning 4 Kids, “imaginative play is essentially when children are role playing and are acting out various experiences they may have had or something that is of some interest to them. They are experimenting with decision making on how to behave and are also practising their social skills.”
Huckleberry’s best imaginative play comes about when he is playing with his enchanted playsilk, fox push-and-pull toy, and Tino bonding doll. It is really incredible to watch how he interacts with these toys, how he engages in imaginative play, how he brings his worlds together – the outdoors, other toys, things we’ve said and done, extended family members, and so on. And his imaginative play has evolved yet these toys still play a big part.
Our 3 Favourite Toys for Imaginative Play
1. Enchanted Playsilk (Sarah’s Silks)
This 35″ square piece of silk packs up so small and therefore comes with us on many an adventure. It has been used as a cape, a hat, a belt, a slipper, a baby carrier, a bandage, a blanket, and more. We’ve played peek-a-boo, done magic tricks, tucked cars into bed and made clothing for our dog.The possibilities are endless, but if you’re stuck for how to use a playsilk, here are 20 things to do with playsilks.
Sarah’s Silks also makes dress-up clothes, toys and canopies among other enchanted treasures. They can be used by children of all ages for all sorts of imaginative play. They make wonderful gifts for children to share, great toys to keep in the car or at the campsite, and the perfect toy for the minimalist parent who doesn’t want that never-ending sea of toys that their child hardly plays with. You can even use your playsilk to wrap another gift because we all know the wrapping is more fun than the gift anyway!
The coupon code “maman” will give you 15% off in the Sarah’s Silks online store.
If you’re in Canada, or better in Kingston, you can shop for playsilks locally at Go Green Baby and save on shipping.
2. Wooden Push-and-Pull Toy (Treeclub Kids)
Huckleberry is a huge fan of anything on wheels – cars, firetrucks, tractors, even turtles – but he plays most imaginatively with this Fox Push-and-Pull Toy from Treeclub Kids. It is nice and big, rolls so well, and has a loop at the front to attach a pull string or “leash” (we often use our Sarah’s Silks playsilk to do the trick). He cradles it, walks it, talks to it, and also makes the usual car noises. Sometimes he simply sits and interacts with the moving parts. He’s also been quite rough with it and hasn’t caused any damage yet. The other bonus is that it doesn’t get lost under the couch or behind the TV like his dinky cars.
All of Treeclub Kids wooden toys are heirloom quality and are handmade in Canada. Their toys are a safe, natural and eco-friendly alternative to the many commercially available plastic toys that are found in today’s toy stores. And they are fuelled by a child’s imagination! From wrenches and rulers to polar bears and foxes, there are plenty of imaginative play opportunities with Treeclub Kids toys. Grab your wooden toys at the Treeclub Kids online shop.
3. Tino Organic Bonding Doll (PEPPA)
Every child needs a doll. We purchased our PEPPA Tino Organic Bonding Doll with the intention of it becoming Huckleberry’s “lovey” for a smooth transition from co-sleeping to sleeping alone. And although that hasn’t happened yet (haha), he treats it tenderly and gives it snuggles and we’ll get to the “lovey” status and sleeping alone someday…
The little PEPPA bunny has been cradled like a baby, kissed and hugged, used to name body parts, laid on like a pillow, pulled over like a blanket, possibly even breastfed (at least I think that’s what was happening). I can see it being a great tool for teaching empathy, just as soon as he stops whipping it across the room when he’s done playing with it. Mind you, that has been a great teachable moment for learning “sorry” and kissing “booboos”.
What is your child’s favourite way to engage in imaginative play?
Welcome to Maman on the Trail’s Stop
on the Back to School Giveaway Hop
I’m going to go ahead and pretend we’re not already into “back to school” mode and market this as a “make the most of the rest of summer” giveaway. Jump head first into imaginative play with your child, no matter their age, with something special from Sarah’s Silks! One lucky reader will win $50 to spend in the Sarah’s Silks online shop. Get creative, get imaginative, play with your child! Enter below for your chance to win!
Terms & Conditions: Open to residents of Canada and the USA, 18 years of age or older. Confirmed winner(s) will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor(s). Canadian winners must successfully complete a skill testing question. For questions or to see your product featured on Maman on the Trail blog contact Monica at http://www.mamanonthetrail.com/contact-me/
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