Many people assume that when children hit the age of 9, it is too old to play pretend and be imaginative. The benefits of imaginative play may be most realized when it is enjoyable for children and they engage in this type of play regularly.
Imaginative play is a very important stage in a child’s development and offers many benefits. During this stage of play, children are able to role-play by putting themselves in other people’s shoes. They can create many concepts in their head, and express them through play. Their imaginations offer opportunities for creative expression.
The various benefits of imaginative play for kids have been documented in many research studies. Play provides them with an outlet for exercising their imagination and creativity, which are important parts of self-expression. Additionally, it gives them a way to practice social skills and cooperation with others as they work out imaginary scenarios together.
As children grow older their play becomes more complex as imagination and language skills are now well developed. Even if some of them will start showing interest in other games and organised sports, many of them will still want to spend a good amount of time with their dolls or with their building blocks.
Imaginative play is one of those areas that some children will move on to other things by age 9, while others will happily retain this facet in their playtime. You can visualize what imaginative play entails by picturing a child using props such as dolls or toy animals to tell a story; they are creating scenes in which they act out parts of the story.
Many kids will still play with dolls at age 9 and that’s totally fine. Children provide a favorite stuffed toy a visual upgrade by transforming it into a taxi driver, airplane pilot, astronaut or teacher. Many dolls come with outfits and accessories so your child has everything she needs to write stories and act out roles – and most dolls fit into the doll carrier for easy transport.
Imaginative play does not even have to elaborate. For example, if your child is into musical instruments she could imagine that she’s a member of a band. Imaginative play allows children to see things in different lenses and let them experience a wide range of emotions.
Some children engage imaginative play in one form or another well even when they grow older. And it is something that parents shouldn’t worry about. Many experts recommend allowing children to use their imagination while playing until they grow out of it.
Parents should allow their children to continue playing however they want, whatever they want as long as it’s appropriate for their age and it is safe. Keep in mind that 9 year olds are still children and most of them are still developing. There’s so much educational and developmental value in imaginative play that it should be incorporated in many of their plays. Toys that promote imaginative play that are age-appropriate still be part of their toy closet.
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