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12 Ideas to Support Imaginative Play

Imaginative play, sometimes called Pretend Play or role-playing, is any kind of play that lets a child use their imagination to create another world! It can be anything from an alien invasion to just pretending to clean up.

Imaginative Play is an important part of health child development that has many benefits! It helps children develop empathy (as children put themselves in new scenarios), builds emotional maturity, helps language development, and supports creativity! And the best part? It keeps your little one super happy - kids love to play!

Toddlers typically start pretending by acting out what they’ve already seen adults doing - cleaning, cooking, talking on the phone, or driving in the car

Around 2 years old, your little one will develop skills for more symbolic thinking - they can answer a banana for a phone call and let objects start to stand in for another. As they get older, the symbolic object will start to vary from the real object more and more. They may no longer need to use a keychain to take a car ride, but let a block serve as a set of keys!

Once your little one reaches 3-4 years, they will start to develop more elaborate play scenarios with character and story lines. It’s time for a tea party, a dragon guarding a castle, or an epic battle!

12 Ideas for Imaginative Play

1. Climb a mountain (or a chair, pile of cushions, or step stool). When you get to the top, use a paper towel roll to look out across the valley. You may even need to use a rope for extra support!

2. Read a book with your little one. Help support your child’s imagination by showing them different places, people, and scenarios in books!

3. The floor is lava! Set up your Play Blocks (or couch cushions will work too) and let you little one jump from block to block. The floor is lava and you need to get across the room!

4. Explore a cave or tunnel. Make a tunnel using play blocks, couch cushions, or blankets. Bonus points if there’s hidden treasure (aka fruit snacks) hidden inside! Bigger kids may need a flashlight to help explore.

5. Set up a tent in the living room or back yard for an afternoon of camping! You can even make a fire from blankets and eat marshmallows - no matches needed!

6. Pretend to be someone (or something) else - a chef, a firefighter, a musician, or maybe a silly monster! Dress-ups are a great way for your little one to express themselves. Don’t worry if you don’t have any costumes - kids love wearing dad’s ties, mom’s old jewelry, socks for gloves, oversized jackets, or whatever you have at home already!

7. Create an elaborate race track with ups and downs. The race may take you through the kitchen, living room, and even down the stairs. On your mark, get set, GO!

8. Build a house (or a castle or a fort). One of the best ways to support imaginative play is to help your little one build a new place to play - whether it’s a fort or a house. This is a great way to incorporate two activities in one - first build the new space and then take time to role play in the space!

9. Explore the ocean, go swimming, or hunt for treasure. Dive into a pool of pretend! Explore the ocean floors and practice holding your breath while you look at sea creatures or try to swim against the waves. The ball pit is a great place to go for a quick dip.

10. Create a stage for gymnastics or dance. If you have a little performer, give them a stage (or just a mat) to use! They might be a pop star, a ballerina, or a gymnast at the Olympics.

11. Go on a magic carpet ride. Let your little one explore the world - from the view of a magic carpet! Travel across the globe or to another planet entirely, but make sure to hang on tight! This is a ride you don’t want to fall off of!

12. Saddle up the horses. Full steam ahead on imagination, and don’t spare the horses! Save your own back and let your little one trot around on a pretend horse (or car or rocket or motorcycle)!

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The parties hereby submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in the State of Oregon and waive any objections to jurisdiction therein that are based on forum non conveniens. If any provision of this Agreement, including without limitation the warranty disclaimer and liability limitation terms, shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then the unenforceable or void portion of that provision will be deemed severable from this Agreement and will not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. This Agreement and any applicable terms agreed in a sign-up document, as each may be amended as set forth herein, are the entire agreement between you and Company relating to the subject matter herein. YOU AGREE THAT ANY CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THESE TERMS OR THE SERVICES MUST COMMENCE WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR AFTER THE CAUSE OF ACTION ACCRUES. OTHERWISE, SUCH CAUSE OF ACTION IS PERMANENTLY BARRED. Freshly Picked Subscription Terms and Conditions Revised March 23, 2018 Welcome to the Freshly Picked subscription program (“Program”). We appreciate your business and look forward to serving your needs. These terms and conditions are a binding agreement (“Agreement”) that governs the relationship between you (“You” or “Member”) and Freshly Picked LLC (“Freshly Picked” or “We”). We reserve the right to make amendments to this Agreement from time to time, and we will post the revised versions on our website when we do. Amended terms are binding on any orders placed after the new terms are posted to our website. Subscription Costs and Benefits You pay $10 per month to become a Member. In exchange, you receive the following benefits for as long as your monthly fees are current. You will receive a $10 in-store credit each month. This credit can be rolled over and added to current credits from month to month. You will receive 20% off everything in our online store. You will receive early access to products we list exclusively for subscribers. The products we list are in our sole and absolute discretion. You will receive free standard ground shipping in the United States and Canada. If we provide you with different costs and benefits when you subscribe, those provisions (only those that relate to the specific costs and benefits) will prevail over these terms. Subscription Rules We never issue any refunds for cash. The credits are exclusively available for in-store purchases of Freshly Picked products. If you cease paying your subscription fees and your membership lapses, or if you choose to cancel your membership, you will not be eligible to become a member again for a period of twelve months. Credit Card Authorization and Payment We use a third-party credit card processor to store and process credit card transactions. By entering into this Agreement, you authorize us to charge your credit card for the subscription fee and any of the products you order online. If for any reason your credit card charge is reversed, you agree to pay our fees in the amount set forth above via other payment method reasonably acceptable to us. Any unpaid amount shall accrue interest in the lesser of 12% per annum, accrued monthly, or the maximum amount allowed by law. Warranty Disclaimer and Liability Limit FRESHLY PICKED MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY OF ANY KIND WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED (EITHER IN FACT OR BY OPERATION OF LAW), OR STATUTORY. WE DISCLAIM ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, QUALITY, ACCURACY, AND TITLE. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT OUR SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES OR THAT PRODUCTS YOU DESIRE TO PURCHASE WILL ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE. EXCEPT WITH REGARD TO OUR WILLFUL MISCONDUCT, NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT TO THE CONTRARY, AND IN CONSIDERATION OF THE RELATIVE RISKS AND REWARDS, WE WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOST PROFITS OR LOSS OF BUSINESS, EVEN IF WE ARE APPRISED OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF SUCH DAMAGES OCCURRING; NOR, EXCEPT FOR OUR WILLFUL MISCONDUCT, SHALL OUR TOTAL LIABILITY OF ANY KIND ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT, REGARDLESS OF THE FORUM AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER ANY ACTION OR CLAIM IS BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $500.00. Miscellaneous This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Utah, without reference to the United Nations Convention on the International Sales of Goods. 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