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What is imaginative play and how to encourage it?

What is imaginative play and how to encourage it?

Who remembers playing dress-up, setting up elaborate cafes, and spending hours immersed in puppet shows and tiny little farmyards filled with toy cows, chickens, and horses for hours on end? At Olli Ella, we have never forgotten, and everything we dream up and do is based on this concept of wonder and childlike imagination! Play is at the heart and soul of the Olli Ella world, and imaginative play possibilities are what we strive to create. What is imaginative play, you ask? We would love to tell you more.


Imaginative play, or make-believe as it is sometimes called, is essentially when children are roleplaying and are acting out various experiences they may have had or something of interest to them. They are experimenting with decision-making on how to behave and are also practising their social skills. Children learn from experience: from what happens around them, from what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch. To absorb those experiences and make sense of the world, they seek to engage in imaginary play alone and with other children.


Play is a child's way of engaging and making sense of the world. Role play may appear to be an amazingly simple activity, yet children learn practical life skills within it. Imaginative play fosters creativity by providing a safe space for children to act out their chosen scenarios, including situations that they may not be able to experience in real life, such as cooking and driving a bus. Role-playing also promotes physical development in a fun way. Activities such as fitting a Dinkum Doll's arms through clothes and feet into shoes are great for helping with hand-eye coordination. It is also a safe place for children's imaginations to run wild, where Dragons can live with Mermaids in Mushroom Basket houses, anything goes, and that can be extraordinary in a world of many rules.



Provide plenty of props and invitations to play.

Allow plenty of playtimes – let your child have as much time as possible to explore where play may take them.

Create spaces for your child to play freely, filled with play prompts. This can be both indoors and out.


Holdie™ World, including Holdie™ Folk, Mermaids, Fairies, Magical Creatures and Dinosaurs that love to play and fit perfectly in the palm of your hand.
Dinkum Dolls and our Dinkum Doll accessory range, including the Strolley and Bring me Basket for on the go play. Think Rainy day play with our Ahoy Raincoats, dress ups with our Pretend Packs, and bedtime routines with our Dinkum Doll PJ's and Bottle.
Wonder Wagon, Luggy, Piki and Mini Chari for limitless adventure possibilities indoors and out and nurture independence.
Dozy and Cozy Dinkums make fabulous little babies for play and have also been designed to help with the transition and nurturing when a little one becomes a big brother or sister.


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