Pretend Play: Save Childhood, Support Imagination

parentingages and stages

In our technology-driven world, imaginative play is on the verge of extinction—many children are straying away from make-believe play to engage in more passive activities. Yet research shows that utilizing the imagination is vital in developing children’s social skills, self-control, and emotional strength.


Tips to Encourage Pretend Play

  • Follow Their Lead—When playing with your kids don't fall into the trap of encouraging them to things a certain way. Allow them to discover and create using their own rules and experience. If they ask you to take part, ask how or just follow their lead.
  • Have an Imagination Station—Whether it’s a playroom or a designated area at home, have a space that’s filled with different objects they can explore and use in their play. Sometimes the most common objects make for the most fun. Remember how much fun you used to have with a simple cardboard box? Creativity can't be forced, but it can be enabled with areas and objects such as this.
  • Bring a Buddy—Set up play dates with other children. According to Reader’s Digest, “Kids who play pretend with their friends do a lot of talking. This helps boost their vocabulary, improve sentence structure, and enhance communication skills.”

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Pump It Up, a national leader in children’s entertainment, is fighting to encourage pretend play through a proactive “Save Childhood, Support Imagination” campaign that urges moms to commit to increased imaginative playtime and provides tools to help them accomplish this goal.

To kick off the national initiative, Pump It Up is encouraging moms to sign an “Imagination Declaration,” in which they commit to one  hour each day engaging in imaginative playtime with their children in an effort to result in lifestyle changes for families across the country. To pump up parents for the challenge, the company has also created a fun “Imagination Evaluation,” a quiz to help moms and their kids measure their imaginations.

As an added resource, moms who sign the pledge can opt-in to receive a monthly email with helpful tips to keep their pledge to support Imagination at home. Moms are also encouraged to visit the Support Imagination blog for additional creative ideas, research, and insights on increasing imaginative playtime for kids throughout the year.


For more information go to

Feature image courtesy Article image courtesy of Flickr.
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