Imagination Play Activities & Games for Kids Ages 6-10 - FamilyEducation

Imaginative Play

Stimulate your child's imagination with these creative play activities, and learn how to foster good playing habits.

5 Ways to Use Craft Sticks for Play

  We are always looking for cheap ways to play, and a bag of craft sticks definitely fits that inexpensive bill. Craft sticks are popsicle sticks that come in several different sizes and colors, and don't require sticky mess clean-up before use. Each type can be used in many ways for hours of fun, and best of all, they don't require any set up! If you have a bag of craft sticks, have some fun these five imaginative activities. read more

A Matter of Place

A Matter of Place Required: Globe, atlas, or map When you hear the words, "Great Britain," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Buckingham Palace, fish and chips, or The Beatles? Perhaps your child can come up with these place associations, as well as a dozen more. read more

Act It Out

Act It OutFor most children, drama begins informally at a very young age. Playing with dolls is drama; playing store or hospital is drama; and playing cops and robbers is drama. Children also observe drama on TV, in movies, and onstage. This activity gives children an opportunity to participate in drama in a more structured and intentional way. Directions read more

All About People

All About PeopleRequired:Your time only Imagine if dogs, cats, hamsters, and other animals could explain the purpose of humans. Why do they act as they do? Here are some categories to think about. Definitions: How would pets define humans? A cat might define "human" as a being that can use a can opener and serve as a sleeping platform. The dog might describe humans as a being that can spell WA-L-K. What about some other creatures? read more

Animal Gifts

Animal Gifts Required: Your time only Who says your child has to wait until Mother's or Father's Day to create a special gift for you? Make this the day that you receive a special present from your child-the make-believe animal! Ask your child to role-play an animal. Your child might choose to take on the character of a family pet, a farm animal, or a wild creature. Then ask your child what that animal might choose to give humans as a gift and why. read more

Animal Restaurants

Animal Restaurants Required: Your time only Optional: Writing/drawing supplies Ever heard of the Fresh Fly Café? You would if you were a frog. How about the Hay Loft? It would be your eatery of choice if you were a horse. read more

Backwards Day

Backwards DayDirections Today you are going to turn your child's day around! Everything that usually happens at the start of the day will take place in the evening, and vice versa. Begin the day with a bedtime story and a bath, take the afternoon nap in the morning, and have breakfast at night. Think of other things that you could do in keeping with a backwards day. Do not forget to let your child know what's going on and ask her for ideas. read more

Bank on It

Bank on It Required: Pocket change Paper and pen Does your child always ask to be the banker when you play board games—and is he or she great in the role? Here's an idea for letting your child practice playing the part. Set up a table and chair in your "bank" (the living room, perhaps) where your junior teller can work. Then pull a handful of change from your pocket, and place it on the makeshift desk. read more

Bear Hospital

Bear HospitalMaterials Old sheeting Masking tape Band-Aids Scissors Directions Tear narrow strips of old sheeting to make bandages. Cut out triangular shapes too. Show your child how to make an arm sling and how to tape down bandages. Using her bears, dolls, and stuffed toys as patients, have your child pretend that she is in a hospital or clinic where the toys must be treated and repaired. Be careful to handle the toys gently. read more

Body Sculpting

Body SculptingDirections Ask your child to pretend that he is a soft lump of play dough and that you are the sculptor. Gently move your child's body into different shapes and positions. Then try bending, turning, and lifting your child's body. Next, it is your child's turn to be the sculptor. Stand, sit, or lie while he shapes your body. Offer no resistance and hold each new position still until your child moves it again. read more

Bridges and Tunnels

Bridges and TunnelsDirections First, discuss with your child the differences between bridges and tunnels what they typically look like and what they are used for. Make a bridge with your body and have your child go over it. Next make a tunnel and have your child go through it. Take turns creating interesting bridges and tunnels. If there are other children, you can make a series of bridges and tunnels and have the children go over and through them. read more

By Bus, Boat, or Train

By Bus, Boat, or TrainDirections read more

City Guide

City GuideRequired: Home or library reference books Paper and pen If you'd like to see your city or town like you've never seen it before, ask your child to be your guide. read more

Combo Inventions

Combo Inventions Required: Magazines, junk mail, and other disposable picture sources When engineers set out to design something, they typically have a purpose (or function) in mind. What would happen if the process went backwards and the purpose of an invention followed its form? read more

Dictionary Name Game

Dictionary Name Game Required: Dictionary Pen and paper What's in a name? A great opportunity for learning new words—with the help of a dictionary. read more

Do-It-Yourself "Ologies"

Do-It-Yourself "Ologies" Required: Your time only Quick! What are the three most important laws of pizzology (the study of pizzas)? Don't worry if you don't know—in fact, it's your job to make them up. That's the whole idea behind this activity: each person invents and describes his or her very own field of science. read more

Draw the Future: Crystal Ball Worksheet

Print out a crystal ball and draw your own vision of the future. read more

Fifteen Minutes

Fifteen Minutes Required: Your time only You've heard that, in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. Why wait? Ask your child to tell you why he or she is famous- right now! Pretend that your child has just made the cover of a famous newsmagazine. Ask your child what the article that accompanies the magazine cover is all about. What achievement brought your child to the public's attention? read more

Great Entertaining

Great Entertaining Required: Globe or atlas Reference books What's cooking? A meal for very important visiting dignitaries from far away, and you and your child have to plan it! First, decide where the visitors hale from by spinning a globe and stopping it with your finger (or by flipping the pages of an atlas or map and arbitrarily pointing to a spot). Whichever city or country your finger lands on will be your travelers' homeland. read more

Growing and Shrinking

Growing and ShrinkingDirections Stand where you have lots of room. Imagine you and your child are each in a giant bubble. Reach out and try to touch the walls of the bubble. Imagine the bubble begins to get smaller and smaller until you can squeeze it up and hold it tightly in your hand. Now let it go and feel it expand all around you again. As the bubble gets bigger, you and your child grow bigger too. read more

High Space, Low Space

High Space, Low SpaceDirections Go outside with your child and talk together about the space around us. Distinguish between high space up in the sky, low space (down on the ground), and medium space (in the middle). What living things move in these spaces? Ask your child how she would move in a high space (like a bird), in low space (crawling like a bug or snake), and middle space (animals with four legs). Experiment with dance movements exploring the space above and below. read more

If Pickles Could Talk

If Pickles Could Talk Required:> Your time only What would the inanimate objects in your household say if they could talk? Ask your child to choose an everyday item and tell you what that object has to say. For example, if pickles could talk, they might say, "Hey, I've been cooped up in this jar for way too long. No! Don't spear me with that fork! Use your fingers. Wait a minute. You're not planning to take a bite out of me, are you? Ouch!" read more

If Toys Could Dance

If Toys Could DanceDirections Ask your child to collect a few of her favorite toys. Set them down with you and your child and talk about what would happen if each toy could move and dance. How would they dance? Let your child show you how each of her toys might move. Alternatively, ask your child, "If you were that toy, what kind of dance would you do?" read more

Keeper of the Zoo

Keeper of the Zoo Required: Reference books Stuffed or toy animals Magazines If your child can't visit the zoo often enough to suit him or her, why not bring the zoo to your living room? And best of all, your child can be the zookeeper. read more

Link That Stuff

Link That Stuff Required: Common household items One way or another, you can find links between even the most seemingly unrelated objects. Here's how to turn those links into great fun. read more

Make-Believe Restaurant

Make-Believe RestaurantMaterials Tablecloth or other linens Vase with flowers or other centerpiece Candle (optional) MenuDirections Use table linens, flowers (real or other) in a vase, and a candle. Take the customer's coat, show him to his seat, give him a menu, and let him order lunch or dinner. Take turns being the waiter and the customer. read more

Making Binoculars

Making BinocularsThis idea may sound a bit ridiculous, but you will be amazed at how much fun a child will have with these! Materials Two toilet paper rolls, or a paper towel roll cut in half Tape Markers, crayons, stickers, and so on Directions Tape two toilet paper rolls together to make a pair of binoculars for your child. She can decorate them with markers, stickers, and so on, and use them to spot interesting things as you go for a walk or ride in the car. read more

Marvelous Menus

Marvelous Menus Required:> Drawing supplies Food pyramid diagram We have some good news—your child has just been hired as a chef at a world-famous restaurant. Now the bad news—the patrons are tired of the outdated menu and are demanding that your child overhaul it from top to bottom. read more

Mouse-Eye View

Mouse-Eye View Required: Your time only Yikes! You've been transformed into a mouse. But that's okay. Now you can see the world from a mouse-eye view. Tell your child to imagine what life would be like as a mouse. Then, in character as a mouse, have your child describe the world. What does the room look like? How do people look different? And what about those favorite mousy spaces, like under the sofa and in the air vents, where humans almost never go? read more