easy ways to encourage imaginative play at home
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How much imaginative free play do your kids get at home? As a homeschool mom, I am always encouraging imaginative play and I never stop searching for new products and ideas. My kids can sometimes be amused by simple things like turning a shipping box into a rocketship, but from time to time I like to add some excitement with a new toy set like these PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! toys from Walmart. Hover over the image below to shop PLAYMOBIL!
There are a lot of reasons why I have continued to homeschool over this last decade, but one of the biggest is the freedom to PLAY. Kids learn so easily when they are allowed to think, create and explore on their own, if given the chance. Every parent homeschools differently, but my focus has always been on making the school day fun. We love STEAM projects (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) so you will always find us making things with our hands. My son in particular loves building and engineering, so I’m always looking for these types of toys. In the photo below, I promise you Gabriel is not mad – this is his focused face! lol
I’ll admit, homeschooling isn’t always easy. My biggest challenge with my youngest (now 7) is keeping him entertained and occupied all day. He gets bored easily, like within 5 minutes of downtime easily, and always prefers to be playing with others vs alone. Luckily, he has a new collection of PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! toys from Walmart to keep him occupied! I’ve enjoyed the nostalgic, blast from the past feeling this collection gives me too! Imaginative playsets are focused around the iconic cartoon series, Scooby-Doo, and enjoyable for both new and mature fans.
As a kid, I was always watching Scooby-Doo. It was easily one of my favorite shows and isn’t it just amazing when it becomes a favorite of your kids too? My oldest (now 13) was legit obsessed with Scooby-Doo for a clip of her childhood and I couldn’t ever find too many new Scooby-Doo toys for her. I was thrilled to see the PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! toys available now at Walmart.
First of all, you have to have the Mystery Machine, the iconic van that the Scooby gang traveled in. This one from PLAYMOBIL is fully functional with rolling rubber wheels, opening back and side doors, removable roof and TONS of accessories. Also included are posable figures: Fred Jones, Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley. This is a great building set as it took my 7 year old about a half hour to put it all together. I only helped with putting on the stickers.
Scooby-Doo is great – but it’s so much more fun when you have Shaggy, too! This set gives you both characters, along with accessories and a super cool ghost character. I particularly love the ghost because it is fun to reveal his true identity!
PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! Mystery Figures (Series 1)
While it is fun to play with just the characters and the Mystery Machine, the gang really needs a few foes! If your child is anything like mine, they LOVE blind bags. Oh my Lord does my kid love a blind bag and I totally get it. The mystery and surprise of finding out which character you have is pretty exciting. These SCOOBY-DOO! characters are super rad, 12 in the collection. These are characters from the episodes of the original cartoon series, which makes them even more rad (and nostalgic for us parents). Every set includes a ghost card that can be read using the ghost card reader in the PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! Mystery Machine.
I plan on adding to his PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! Mystery Figures just for the personal joy of watching the faces he makes as he opens them up!
easy ways to encourage imaginative play at home
- don’t overschedule extracurriculars
If you want your kids to spend time using their imaginations, they have to HAVE the available time. I’m totally guilty of overscheduling my kids and that’s something I have been working on. Luckily as a homeschool family, they have ample time for imaginative play throughout the day. If your kiddos are in a brick and mortar, you might need to consider actually “scheduling” free play.
- limit screen time
My kids are plugged in, for sure. Phones, tablets, video game consoles, VR headset… they’ve got it all. I’m fine with them enjoying technology, but if they are spending too much time plugged in, you really need to step in and limit screen time. This will open up more chances for imaginative play.
- join in on the fun
Imaginative play is way more fun with others. If you want your child to use their imagination more, use yours too! Get down on the floor and show them that adults have imaginations as well.
- provide toys that require imagination
There are times where my kids are totally content playing in a giant box they’ve converted into a rocketship, and that’s great! However, having a variety of imagination-sparking toys available to them will increase their time spent using their imagination.
- embrace the chaos
Imaginative play can sometimes get dirty, messy, loud and chaotic. Deal with it, mom! Let those kids play without interruption, as difficult as it may be.
PLAYMOBIL® is a brand I have always reached for when shopping for my kids. From this brand you can expect well-made, high quality products that encourage creativity and imaginative role play. These types of toys are so wonderful solo play or sibling play. Assembling the toys and then creating storylines to go with play is wonderful for developing cognitive, motor, social and emotional skills – plus they are just a lot of fun!
One more blind bag shot for the road!
Find PLAYMOBIL® SCOOBY-DOO! toys for your kiddos (ages 5+) at Walmart in the toy section!