Imagine That!: Easy Make-Believe Fun for Toddlers

Tea TimeWinnie the Pooh's Christopher Robin used his favorite stuffed animals to create a wonderful world of make-believe, something that every toddler needs. Here are a few magical ideas to not only entertain your toddler (which, as we all know, is harder than it sounds), but also spark creativity and imagination in your own Hundred Acre Woods.

Tea Time

Boy or girl, all young kids love having an imaginative tea party. Case in point: my 20-month old excitedly yells "Tea time!" whenever she spies her "fake" tea set. And while the standard tea party is an oldie but goodie, why not make it interesting (and keep Mom and Dad from getting bored) with a few creative enhancements:

  • Invite all of your child's favorite dolls and stuffed animals to tea. Sit them around in a circle and have your little one serve all of them. Trust me, this is a huge hit in my household.
  • Serve dainty tea sandwiches on appropriately small plates. Perfect for little hands to grab and eat, meal time just got elevated to a whole new level of fun.
  • Dress the part - kids will love dressing "fancy" for a special tea party. Think boas, hats, gloves.
  • You don't have to go out and buy a kid's tea set, either. This DIY Fairy Tea Set has just the right amount of charm and creativity to make your little one ooh and ahh with glee, and adds a little shared craft time to the mix.

Related: 20 classroom party do's and don'ts

Fun with BoxesFun with Boxes

Yes, boxes. Those things you have lying around and never know quite what to do with? Use them for a make-believe world of fun. We like to use old diaper boxes as wheel-less wagons. Have your toddler decorate the outside with their favorite stickers, or if it's a plain box, crayons. Poke a hole in the middle of one of the flaps and tie a long piece of yarn or twine through it. Then invite your child to grab some desirable passengers to put inside and watch as they exhaust themselves pulling the box around all day. Win-win.

Have even bigger boxes hanging around? Turn it upside down, cut out a doorway and make a cardboard rocket, house, airplane or car. The sky's the limit and your tot will get a huge kick out of customizing the creation with their personal artwork.

For even more idea on what to do with cardboard boxes, check out the Cardboard Crafts Gallery.

- By Esther Carlstone
Follow Esther on Spoonful

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