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Parenting Snapshots #7: Imaginative play – why bother?

Imaginative play: Encouraging itNo more wee – yeah! This week we are chatting about imaginative play with your kids. It has been in the news recently about how important it is to play with our children. More specifically, how that parents, fathers in particular, aren’t sure how to “do” imaginative play effectively.

I sometimes struggle to know what to do when its just me and the kids. I am not a natural at this imaginative play lark; it just doesn’t come as easily to me as it perhaps does to others.

Don’t panic though, Kate and I have some tips. We discuss:

  • Why its important to take part in imaginative play with your children?
  • What is a reasonable amount of time to do so?
  • Is it OK to leave your kids to play by themselves too?
  • What ideas there are for encouraging imaginative play indoors, and outdoors too?
  • What can Dad’s do to get involved in imaginative play?

See – plenty of ideas there, its not just princesses and cups of tea now is it? It can even be Strictly with the Lego like it has been in our house recently. Not to mention the rather stunning impersonation of a rather over the top Bruno Tonioli from Strictly from dear old Brad.

What ideas do YOU have for encouraging imaginative play in the kids? What have you and the kids been up to recently?

Image above courtesy of

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Wednesday 20th of November 2013

I went on a whole course about this through speech and language. *Think* my son is autistic so it makes it even harder. What he likes most is dressing up. Either that or we craft things and then play with them.


Wednesday 20th of November 2013

We used to love to play - my now 11 year old used to love to be the mum to me!


Wednesday 20th of November 2013

Some fabulous play time ideas there, it's so easy to fall into the habit of playing the same old trusted game again and again - not any more ;)

maggy, red ted art

Wednesday 20th of November 2013

Love your hangouts! Great stuff. Keep 'em coming!

Liz Burton

Wednesday 20th of November 2013

Oh I loved that video! Some great advice, I think it's easy as the grown up to feel a bit embarrassed sometimes or not know what to do. I miss playing with my daughter like this, she's way too tired and grumpy after school now, but we fit it in where we can.

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