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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Creative Play - Why It Is Important

By Eva Emilie

What is creative play? Some tend to use the terms creative play and imaginative play indiscriminately, and though they are somehow related, they are not exactly the same thing. Both imaginative and creative play will develop the child's senses, self-expression and confidence. But while imaginative play describes the free unstructured pretend play, where the child uses free imagination to create a story and a setup, creative play is an artistic expression through drawing, painting, play dough, needle work, music and dance etc. Both imaginative play and creative play are two very important aspects of children's development - a way for them to express feelings and explore their creativity.

In creative play it's important to allow the child to do whatever he wants to do, and let him try new ways to be creative, whether it be through music or with materials like paper, crayons, scissors, play dough, papier mache, yarn, felt or what ever you feel like introducing him to. Small children should of course work with an adult, but it's important to give the child free hands and let him come up with his own expression. You have to make sure you don't give to many instructions! When doing crafts with your child you're job is to guide, help out with the difficult parts and make sure the child is safe. Encourage the child to use her own imagination and artistic expression and be excited about the finished work - it will boost the child's self-esteem and inspire her to do more.

So, while it's important to let the child come up with his own ideas and expressions, it's of course fine to implement a little learning by talking about what you're doing, how you're working with the materials and teach a little bit about colors, texture, the use of different materials etc. If you're playing music, you can talk about instruments, sound, and look at ways people express themselves through song and dance etc. Just make sure it's on the child's terms and that he finds it fun and interesting. Never push, just let the child explore and let the creativity flow!

Children love to learn, and creative play is a great way to show them ways to use their hands and body, come up with new ideas, let them express emotions, and explore new ways to use different kinds of tools and materials. Creative play stimulates the brain and helps develop fine motor skills and coordination, and is an important piece of a developing a healthy and open-minded child. Creative play is also a great way to be together and interact with your child, and you might even find new ways of being creative yourself!


Eva Emilie is the owner of the Canadian online store Her Scandinavian/European background is reflected in the selection of natural and eco-friendly toys that she hand-picks from manufacturers in Europe, North America and Canada - all Toys Worth Keeping!

Child Development

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