Let Their Imagination Run Wild #PlayAdvocate + Giveaway

Examples of Imaginative Play

This morning I was reading a book to little O and the characters in the story were using their full imagination. They were pirates and their ship was the picnic table, they made a sail out of a stick and some clothes and an anchor out of more sticks. It looked rather fun and a great way to spend an afternoon. Little O said to me “Mommy I am going to do that with my best bro!”

This winter the kids opened their imagination up and instead of mud pies as they would serve up in the summer months, they served up snow pie from their very own bakery. Our kids spend hours outside mixing in twigs and cedar leaves into their pies. They were so happy and it is one memory I have today looking back on our long cold winter that warms my heart.

As a child I remember spending hours upon hours playing school with my sister and our neighbours. We spent hours using our imaginations playing school, hairdresser or just like my children do today making mud pies to serve up to mom and dad.

Imagination is Important

I read a book a while back called “The Dolphin Way” the author Shimi K. Kang, M.D spoke about a very popular building kit that kids play with today. It comes with a book or two of instructions and every piece is placed in the proper way to make scenery. We have a few of these kits in my house and I will be honest here, they require parents help and they rob the child of using their own creativity and opening up their imagination during play. After reading her book and her point of view I felt the need to toss aside the instruction books and let my child be the creator of how the scenery will piece together. And since reading The Dolphin Way I have set aside my inner tiger and let my children’s creativity and imagination take over.

” Imagination opens up the child’s mind to think out of the box! Invite imagination play by having a tickle trunk available for the kids to try on costumes. During imaginative play kids use word phrases they they typically wouldn’t use. Children love to act like a cat or bark like a dog during imaginative play and this is the type of play that will broaden creativity and help with their self-esteem.” 

An Iconic Favorite

Little People® Animal Friends Farm has been around since 1978 and is an iconic toy that many generations have played with. I wrote a review of Little People® Animal Friends Farm and how much I love how it opens up imagination play for the child. With an age suggestion of 1-5 this opens up possibilities for siblings and cousins to explore and play together. Our little nephew who is two had just as much fun playing and exploring with the Little People Animal Friends Farm as our almost four year old.

2015 Little People® Animal Friends Farm

The Little People® Animal Friends Farm is filled with animals and farm fun, giving your little one the chance to learn as they play. By opening the barn door or the gate, you hear animal sounds and a fun farm tune to help teach animal sounds. Little ones can help Farmer Eddie™ place the animals in their stalls by matching them to their pictures, learning matching and sorting skills. Little O enjoys dropping the hay bale and animals through the silo.

World of Savings in April!

Fisher-Price® is helping children explore more by launching Little People® World of Savings in April! Coupons are available at Walmart and Toys“R”Us. At Toys“R”Us, coupons are available in aisle for $5 off Farm & Home, $10 off any purchase of $55 or more, and $15 off any purchase of $75 or more.

Fisher Price is generous!

Two In R Dream readers will both win a Little People® Animal Friends Farm, valued at $39.99. Canada only (excludes Quebec) ends 04/27 EST. Please note: we cannot guarantee your prize will be similar to the one that was reviewed. Winner depends on the amount of entries received. You have 24 hours to claim your prize before another winner will be randomly drawn. Good luck!

 Thank you for reading In R Dream!

Disclosure: I am a Play Advocate. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to Mattel events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

By entering the following contest you are accepting that if you win your contact information will be shared with a Fisher Price PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize. All winners must be from within Canada.


  1. kathy downey says:

    Sunday afternoon tea parties where always lots of fun

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I remember my kids, like most other kids, using blankets, chairs and a table to make a tent/hideaway. They’d even make a camp fire and cook up food and eat it – great fun watching all of this.

  3. To encourage imagination, provide them with simple things, crayons, paper, cardboard, dress up clothes, then stand back and watch the fun

  4. Heidi c. says:

    Let your kids get messy once and awhile. Don’t worry about the clean-Up as you can make that fun, too.

  5. loucheryl says:

    I remember playing with my sister’s Fisher Price Farm. I just loved the cow.

  6. Cassandra says:

    One way we take a break from screens is we play live action video games! LOL, the kids take off all the cushions and sofa pillows, they are put into a complicated pattern on the floor. The object is to jump from cushion to cushion to avoid whatever we imagine is underneath, water, hot lava. Usually I play some form of monster, trying to prevent them from reaching the hallway. Sometimes I am a beautiful princess trapped in the tower and they have to rescue me. The neighbours must think we are crazy, jumping all over the house.

    I think the main thing to encourage your kids to use their imaginations is to let them see you using yours! I try and play with them as much as I can.

    • Cassandra what a fantastic way to your your imagination! That is the first time I have ever heard of that idea. Brilliant! I maybe giving this one a try! Thanks!

  7. Kristy R says:

    I played with my My Little Pony dolls for hours as a kid! Loved them. Still have them. Looking forward to passing them down to my DD. #retrotoys

  8. kathy downey says:

    we always played cubby house

  9. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Tea parties with dolls is something that also sticks in my head. I think every child does that and most parents get involved too. 🙂

  10. carol-ann says:

    Imagination is the best gift to encourage in children.With 6 children and now 13 grandchildren we love to play imaginative play,fisher price toys are great to help with this or whatever you have whether it be a margarine container as a hat for conducting while playing trains let the imagination run wild !

  11. Judy Cowan says:

    I spent a lot of time when I was little playing house and Barbie dolls – I definitely used my imagination a lot!

  12. I use to have a dresser in the basement full of costumes and dress up stuff, the same for my daughters! So much fun!

  13. kathy downey says:

    I love helping them make house out of stove and fridge boxes

  14. When I was little my mum used to save all kinds of scraps (fabric/buttons/ribbon/you name it) in a box and we would create whatever we could out of it. Some pretty awesome things that I still have to this day came out of that! So much fun! (:

  15. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    It was great fun watching my children playing with the farm, amazing how they let their imagination run away with them. Wonderful memories 🙂

  16. naiddia p says:

    We encourage imagination by letting my little one play dress up.

  17. Marilyn Legault says:

    I used to cut up the magazines to make a house full of people and items. It was like a doll house made of paper. Spent hours on my bedroom floor changing the decor.

  18. I let my daughter have fun and see her have the enjoyment out of her imagination. its so cute to see her place house

  19. Building forts in the hay in the barn and playing cowboys and indians.

  20. kathy downey says:

    making up stories

  21. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I believe that all kids have a good imagination and they don’t need many toys to display it either, simply going into the backyard is often enough where they then play at being a super hero or something entirely different. It’s amazing to watch. 🙂

  22. I like books to open up imagination.

  23. nicolthepickle says:

    I encourage imagination by giving my children free time to play.

  24. Judy Cowan says:

    Encourage it by having lots of toys around that require it & turn off the electronics. Playing with them is also a good way to encourage it!

  25. I encourage imagination, by having a dress up box, lots of craft supplies including empty cardboard boxes, they make great vehicles

  26. Playing in the old trucks playing cops and robbers.

  27. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    My children were always fascinated by Fisher Price toys and often played for hours ‘on the farm’ with the animals and little people. 🙂

  28. Judy Cowan says:

    Playing dress up is a great way to encourage imaginative play!

  29. nicolthepickle says:

    I remember taking our favourite books and acting them out when we were young.

  30. Encouraging them, no matter how silly they may think they sound. Imaginations are FUN! 🙂

  31. Let them have fun..be it spasing in puddles or playing in the mud.

  32. kathy downey says:

    We love building with blocks

  33. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    My grandchildren have started writing plays (7 & 4 1/2 yrs) and then acting them in front of the family as an audience – hilarious 🙂

  34. Julie Bolduc says:

    I encourage my kids to bring in all their imagination they can and they sure do superman in a woman’s outfit lol

  35. SweetPanda says:

    I encourage imagination by letting my daughter to make her own paper doll and paper dresses and accessories

  36. Judy Cowan says:

    I remember building “tents” out of blankets and taking my dolls camping when I was little.

  37. nicolthepickle says:

    Playing dress up is wonderful for my kids imaginations.

  38. We provide The Kids with tons of different toys, items and crafts that will spark their imagination. When they engage with us, we pretend along with them.

    Besos, Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

  39. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    give them some Lego and see what they make of it or Fisher Price toys too 🙂

  40. Judy Cowan says:

    Play with them to help them learn how to use their imagination!

  41. kathy downey says:

    I always looked for toys that would encourage imagination play like building blocks and dress up clothes

  42. Brenda Lacourciere says:

    I love giving the kids a box of random craft supplies and let them decide what to make.

  43. Having a supply of craft materials on hand is a great way to encourage imagination in children.

  44. SweetPanda says:

    I remembered when I was a child, once I used my mom’s flour to pretend that it’s snowing (in the summer time), I thought that it was really fun but when my mom found out … it’s not that fun anymore

  45. Marina M. says:

    I used to play with baby dolls all the time, fed them, walked with them, changed diapers 🙂

  46. Jodi Mitrovic says:

    My little guy is 6 months old and I love getting down on the floor with him and interacting hands on. We love singing and dancing around the house. We enjoy the outdoors (when the weather co-operates) and playing in the park. Anything and everything I can do to encourage playtime and imagination! Thank-you for a great share and giveaway 🙂

  47. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Give a child simple things like cardboard boxes and he’ll build a fortress, or head-gear. Children have great imagination and Fisher Price toys help to encourage this too.

  48. Judy Cowan says:

    Having an assortment of craft supplies always helps to encourage imagination!

  49. kathy downey says:

    Nothing sparks a childs imagination than a good story

  50. SweetPanda says:

    I remembered I use a big piece of cloth and a gift basket and put it in the kitchen floor and pretend that I had a pinic when I was a kid

  51. nicolthepickle says:

    Stories are wonderful for helping a childs imagination.

  52. kathy downey says:

    I encourage imagination with boxes.tape together and make a houses

  53. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I remember my oldest playing for hours in the sandpit with Fisher Price toys. He had a lot of fun playing at being a builder. 🙂

  54. Judy Cowan says:

    I remember playing with the farm and trying to sneak grass in to feed the animals 🙂

  55. SweetPanda says:

    We bought a TV and had a very big carton box. So both of my kids along with their dad used it to make a house and a car in a way that my kids wanted and then my kids put drawing on them.

  56. I remember dressing up in my cousins clothes and playing with her makeup, (she wasn’t happy I was at her makeup)

  57. Toys that allow symbolic plays like this one are perfect for developping cognitive skills 🙂

  58. Juliee Fitze says:

    I remember playing with my son’s farm with him for hours.

  59. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I always looked for toys that would encourage imagination, Fisher Price fulfils this criteria easily. 🙂

  60. kathy downey says:

    I remember spending hours playing house with my sister with cut-outs from the Sears catalog

  61. Lynda Cook says:

    me and my friend when we were young used to have lots of fun in the summer, since we lived in the country, we always had imaginary play, almost something like that move Bridge to Terabithia!!

  62. SweetPanda says:

    When we go out, we always have a pad of paper with us. In the restaurants, while waiting for food, I encourage my kids to draw a story out and then they can tell me a story either on our way home or before bedtime. This way, they can draw whatever they want and create their my own story

  63. nicolthepickle says:

    We’ve been listening to stories lately (audio books) and I hear my children acting them out. It’s wonderful.

  64. nicolthepickle says:

    Reading to a child and acting it out is wonderful for imagination development.

  65. Florence C says:

    We had a ton of the red plastic building bricks with window and doors. I would built what I would call my dream home.

  66. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I always looked for toys that would encourage imagination, Fisher Price fulfils this easily. Children can play with these toys for hours on end, using their imagination and skills to develop new scenarios all the time. Never a dull moment with Fisher Price in the house 🙂

  67. SweetPanda says:

    I encourage imagination by getting my kids to explore and use playdoh to create things that they want

  68. i remember going through the catalogues and my friend and I would pick the items we wanted in our homes

  69. Judy Cowan says:

    I remember spending hours playing house when I was a child and looking after all my kids (Cabbage Patch Dolls).

  70. Heidi c. says:

    I remember really enjoying playing dress-Up. I would spend most of my time at preschool doing it and I also loved dressing up in my mom’s clothes at home. My friends and I would have lots of fun.

  71. Loved this farm as a kid , one of my fave toys to play with ! 😀 The good old days !!!

  72. I encourage my kids imagination by having lots of toys that encourage imagination through play.

  73. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Just give kids a box of Lego and ask them to build something – amazing what they come up with 🙂

  74. Rhonda W G. says:

    I use to enjoy playing school with my friends…My nieces do it now.

  75. nicolthepickle says:

    I encourage imagination by minimizing the TV time my kids get.

  76. Judy Cowan says:

    To encourage imagination have lots of toys around that encourage it and limited the amount of tech time they get.

  77. Heidi c. says:

    I had a Fisher Price barn growing up that I loved playing with.

  78. Lynda Cook says:

    Save old clothing for playing dress-up and build blanket forts!

  79. My oldest son had the farm, the schoolhouse, the western town, the garage, and would spend hours setting them up and playing. What an imagination he had!

  80. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    When my children were small they used to play a lot with Fisher Price and would spend hours playing with the farm or the garage, imagining scenarios and acting them out. They also loved dressing up and being knights, superman or some other hero. I also liked going to museums, science museums etc where there were hands-on things to do, that encourages imagination too. I loved hearing ‘what if’.

  81. When I was young, my mother would clothespin blankets to the clothesline to create a ‘tent’ and we’d pretend we were camping. My sister could make excellent bear noises!

  82. SweetPanda says:

    I encourage imagination by giving them paper, colour pencils, empty juice box or other recycle materials we found at home to create crafts or basically anything they can think of

  83. I encourage my kids to be imaginative, use silly voices, and have fun

  84. Stephanie LaPlante says:

    I encourage imagination by playing along in their games and ideas!

  85. Lynda Cook says:

    Me and my girls had so much fun playing with the little people when they were just little girls, they had the house and when I was small I had the schoolhouse and the bus, lots of fun playtime, and now I can’t wait to play with my granddaughters she is going to have fun with the little people as well!!

  86. Maegan Morin says:

    I remember playing house with my cousins or we would all pretend to be animals and we never had any toys when we were playing these games. You just dont see that anymore.

  87. Judy Cowan says:

    I remember playing teacher with the Little People School house.

  88. andrea amy says:

    I encourage the boys to be creative with their play. They have lots of books, lots of opportunities to draw/colour/create and of course we have a huge selection of creative play toys such as building blocks, cars, and little people toys.

  89. michelle tremblett says:

    I remember getting together with all my cousins and we would put on “talent shows” for all the adults… and charge 25 cents lol. we had a blast and always so imaginative 🙂

  90. encourage them by letting them jump in puddles pick up bugs, hands in the dirt, etc.

  91. Giving children loose objects, beads, buttons, stones etc. encourage them to use their imagination in their play.

  92. nicolthepickle says:

    I encourage imagination with dress up clothes, and no tv.

  93. I love to make playdo and let them create character and do plays, its just so much fun to watch

  94. heidi c. says:

    I try to encourage them imaginative play. For example, when they are taking a bath, we may pretend that they are in the rainforest with the water pouring down and then go from there. I love seeing their creative sides grow.

  95. WE love role playing in our home. We dress up and take on a role, kids and parents. I love role playing and acting out a story with them.

  96. love watching my kids play with their little people

  97. Victoria J says:

    Unplug! Having limited screen time and encouraging time in room with toys and crafts and playing outside now that the weather is nicer

  98. sometimes less is more for kids . they can find many ways to imagine with a cardboard box

  99. lisa bolduc says:

    First time mom here to 14 month old little boy. He is not quite imaginative yet. It’s great seeing him explore things though

  100. Holly OGorman says:

    When I was younger I loved playing house.

  101. SueSueper says:

    My son used to play with the green toy story car , buzz lightyear doll and Woody, would play for hours and hours.

  102. Lots of play with different toys when we are at home, different places (parks, play groups) when we are out, and interacting with different kids!

  103. I think getting involved in the play and using YOUR imagination with them helps so much to open up theirs!

  104. kristen visser says:

    i love to play with my daughter but i also encourage my daughter to play on her own where she is able to bring her imagination to life. it is fun to watch her explore

  105. Jonnie H says:

    A memory of imaginative play that really stands out to me is when my oldest son was a toddler, he was obsessed with Blue’s Clues. He wanted to watch it 24 hours a day but I limited his TV time. When he wasn’t allowed to watch, he would act it out himself with a chair, a notebook, a stuffed Blue, and an old alarm clock. Sometimes he’d even get our salt and pepper shakers in on the action!

  106. jane kramer says:

    let them get messy and explore things with their hands , dont be afraid to clean up a mess.

  107. lynn clayton says:

    i encourage imagination by lots of imaginative toys fisher price toys are great for that he loves his car garage it encourages lots of imaginative play

  108. I encourage my childrens imagination by reading stories to them and singing songs. Then, when they go to play, we act out what we read or listened to. But they’re pretty good at coming up with things themselves 🙂

Speak Your Mind