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Imaginary play is so important for the development of young children. For my son, I've found a few favorite toys that we use to develop his imagination. You can encourage imagination and creativity too with my favorite picks for imaginative play toys!

Imaginative play is making a comeback! We’ve let ourselves settle into the world of screens and passive playtime in years past, but a new generation of moms is ready to help their kids unleash their creative potential! Break out your Lincoln Logs, people. It turns out imaginative play is more important than we thought! Here’s what the folks at Psychology Today have to say about imaginative play:

“Make-believe games are forerunners of the important capacity for forms of self-regulation including reduced aggression, delay of gratification, civility, and empathy…An important  benefit of early pretend play may be its enhancement of the child’s capacity for cognitive flexibility and, ultimately, creativity.” (source)

Armed with a new perspective, I’ve searched for the best toys to create an environment ripe for imagination for my little one. Check out these three imaginative play toys we love!

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.)

Three Imaginative Play Toys You’ll Love!

Picasso Tiles Magnetic Building Blocks

There is no limit to what your kiddo can imagine with these tiles. Picture a colorful imaginary city sprawling across your living room rug. What about geometric animals or flowers? Easy manipulation for young toddler, but open-ended and challenging for older kids too. These unique tiles are sure to inspire a world of building fun!






Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box

These cute magnets are perfect for bringing out the creative storyteller in your little one! Try this for starters: Grab a metal baking sheet, cozy up on the couch, and take turns telling a tale with your animal magnets! Need a creative boost? Introduce a story starter like “Duck burst out the door, ready for adventure…” Or… “Rabbit and Turtle were best of friends. But one day…” Or my personal favorite, “It was a dark and stormy night…” 😉 Storytelling is a rare art these days. These adorable animal magnets will help jumpstart those imagination neurons, guaranteed!





Play-Doh Fun Factory

This one is a classic! I’m sure you remember having one of these bad boys when you were a kid. Well they are as good as ever and ideal for promoting imaginative play! For me, nothing topped making Play-Doh baked goods with my sister. We set up shop in my mom’s kitchen on Saturdays and imagined we were famous bakers! Mom never complained about the counter space she forfeited or the mess we created. She knew she was encouraging imaginative minds!




Inspiring imagination is so easy with these creative and flexible toys. Put one of my favorites on your wish list today!

Tell me, what childhood toys inspired imagination for you? Share in the comments below!




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