5 activities to help grow your toddler’s imagination

One of the simplest games to play with your young child is pretend play! It requires no fancy toys, no technology and promotes a skill they will use for a lifetime.

Children are born curious, and it does not take them long to grow to explore the world around them.

As soon as your toddler can crawl, they will begin to explore cupboards and the house around them. While doing this, they are using their imagination to discover what is hidden in the places they are exploring, and what can they do with any treasures found.

Here are 5 play activities to help develop your toddler’s imagination.

  1. Pretend Tea Party – Make and serve cups of tea for all the stuffed toys and have a tea party. Have your toddler and the toys engage in different roles such as the hostess and guests.
  2. Bath time for your toddler’s favourite doll/toy – Pretend to give your toddlers favourite doll/toy a bath, wrap up or dress the doll/toy in clothes, feed the doll/toy dinner and tuck the doll/toy into bed.
  3. Hide and seek. – Hide. Have your toddler close his/her eyes and yell out when you are ready for them to look for you. Search. Have your toddler search for you. Your toddler is learning to explore their surroundings. This will allow them to use their imagination and explore to come find you. Find. Say “you found me” when your toddler finds you, reward them by excitedly telling them they have found you.
  4. Make a treasure box – Basket. Look for a shallow basket which is round to enable your toddler to reach inside. Fill the basket. You can fill the basket with ribbons of different patterns and textures, sponges, wooden spoons, whisks, brushes, a variety of measuring cups, keys, balls of different sizes. Explore. Let you toddlers’ curiosity roam free and let them start thinking about objects they may encounter. Sit with them as they explore and play with the objects.
  5. Read books – Read at a slow pace. Use your voice and hands. You should encourage your toddler to touch the book. Point to pictures. While you read ask your toddler questions to encourage a dialogue.

It is important to remember, having a loving, stable and responsive relationship is fundamental to your toddler’s development.

The more experiences your toddler has with you there to support them, the more your child grows and thrives.

When your child feels safe and attached to you, your child is more likely to have the confidence to explore their world. Playing with your toddler strengthens your relationship and encourages your toddler to explore, observe, experiment and solve problems.

If you have any concerns with your child’s development, you can find out more by accessing the Early Childhood Authority’s website at www.eca.gov.ae or contact the Child Health Line on 024194983. Operated by Mubadala Health (available 10:00 am -18:00 pm).


This initiative is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Authority, Mubadala and Mubadala Health

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