10 ways to encourage your child’s imagination

This story was originally titled “10 simple and inexpensive ways to encourage imaginative play” in the October 2007 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

1. Put paper on an old turntable and encourage kids to colour while it spins.

2. Save junk mail, old envelopes and stamps for kids to play post office.

3. Make an indoor sandbox by filling a rubber bin with puffed wheat, rice, lentils, toy trucks and cars, and measuring spoons and cups.

4. Fill empty plastic containers with coloured water, which kids can use to squirt onto the pavement or snow in the winter.

5. Spread sheets or blankets out in the house and let your kids have an indoor picnic.

Put small amounts of shaving cream with food colouring in muffin tins and let your kids finger paint on the tub and tiled walls with it.

Melt broken crayons into foil-lined muffin tins to create multicolour, homemade crayons.

Use an old plain shower curtain to create a customized map of roads, buildings, etc., and let your kids use it as a play mat for their toy cars.

Blow bubbles from bubble solution on the kitchen floor and use the excess soap to mop up the floor together afterward.

Create a play drawer with real but used or old items, such as cellphones.


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