The Lego movie captures all of us in the magic of “Let’s pretend”. Charming and delightful, it appeals to the imagination and sense of play. Did you know that pretend play is important for brains? This kind of play is complex and powerful for thinking and learning, and helps children with early development and kindergarten readiness.
Pretending and imagining do not end with childhood, that’s where they begin! Just like other skills and abilities they get better with practice. While pretending and imagining are necessary for fantasy, they are also important in reality. As a parent, have you ever asked your child something like “What might happen if you just run without looking?” We ask the child to imagine what could happen so s/he does not do that again. Also, when we ask kids how they might feel if someone grabs a toy away, kids again need to use their imaginations. Both safety and empathy need imagination and pretending.
Did you know when children pretend, even though the action is only taking part in their brains, that their bodies respond? When children pretend they are going up in an elevator all the way to the sky, their eyes go up. When they pretend they are flying the muscles in the arms move. Meanwhile, back in the brain, new pathways and connections are being formed. Pretend play can also help children cope with stress and fears.
Lego and Duplo are considered construction toys and they are also wonderful for pretend play. There’s more variety with small Lego for older children than with the larger Duplo but imaginations of any age will never run out of possibilities. Does your child like to play and imagine with Lego?