Understanding the Importance of Creative Play for Kids


Understanding the Importance of Creative Play for Kids

creative play for kids

Young children love to play and explore the world around them. They often have a lot of energy–and a lot of questions! As young children grow, they must develop skills that will help them thrive in Kindergarten and throughout life. While play may seem like fun, it is actually critical in helping children grow and develop.

Creative play gives children a chance to be active and imaginative. It can help them develop critical thinking and social-emotional skills. It is important to encourage your child to play as much as possible at home and school.

This article will explore the important benefits of creative play. You will learn how to foster imaginative play at home and in the classroom to help children develop essential skills.

At New Horizons, we understand the importance of play. Our incredible educators use an evidence-based curriculum with many creative play educational activities. Our enriching environment encourages children to express themselves and use their imagination as they grow.

Contact our team now to learn about our programs or schedule a tour.

What is Creative Play?

Creative play is any type of play that encourages children to express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. There are several types of creative play. Here are a few examples.

Imaginative play

Imaginative play involves props, costumes, or toys that allow them to act out a scenario. Some activities of imaginative play include:

  • Using dolls or action figures to act out a story
  • Pretending to be a restaurant chef in a play kitchen
  • Playing “house” by pretending to be parents and children in a family
  • Acting like a superhero, dinosaur, or another character

Imaginative play allows children to create scenarios and act them out. They may re-enact real events or come up with their own stories.


Dancing is a creative activity. It requires children to listen to music, identify the rhythm, and coordinate their body movements to the song. Children may also include others in their dancing. They may perform movements they have seen before or create something brand new.


Art is a beautiful outlet for creativity. Children can use a variety of materials or techniques to create unique works of art. They may draw, paint, sculpt with clay, or create something from found materials.

There are two general types of art: product art and process art. During a product art project, kids may follow instructions to make a project. All children will produce something similar. In process art, children can use materials however they prefer to create something unique.

Product art projects can help children develop their ability to follow directions. Process art allows for more creativity and freedom of expression.


Music-making is an excellent creative play activity. Children can explore the sounds that different instruments make. They may practice singing in different ways or use household objects to create music.

There are so many ways for young children to be creative and imaginative throughout the day. In some cases, parents or educators may set up creative opportunities and guide children through a process. In others, adults may simply provide an enriching environment and allow children to let their imaginations lead them.

Why is Creative Play Important in Early Education?

Children need to use their bodies and minds in different ways to develop the skills they’ll need for everyday life later on. Creative free play can help children develop these skills. It is also a lot of fun!

Here are some of the most significant benefits of creative play in the early childhood years.

Improved communication

Playing creatively can boost a child’s communication skills. Playing with others can improve social and communication skills even further. During creative play, children must practice speaking, listening, and taking turns with others. They learn to express themselves and develop the ability to incorporate others’ ideas into their play scenarios.

Problem-solving skills

Creative play can give children the skills to approach new challenges with confidence. Children face challenges during play, such as:

  • How to express their ideas to others
  • How to accomplish a goal, such as building a tall tower or painting a picture
  • How to create a story order that makes sense to others

Kids make valuable connections and build their resilience while playing creatively. This can improve their ability to solve problems in school and beyond.

Critical thinking

During creative play, children must make many decisions. They may have to decide what color to paint the sky in their picture, what will happen after the dragon wakes up in its cave, or how to produce a sound from a drum.

Making these decisions in a safe, supportive environment can encourage them to have confidence in their choices throughout life.

Creative play doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be beneficial. Simple materials, time, and some patience are all it takes to help a child develop these essential skills.

Schedule a Tour Today

Contact the New Horizons team now with questions or to schedule a tour of our incredible learning center. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon!

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