How to Encourage Imaginative Play

There is a lot of beauty in technology, and there are a million ways to use it wisely with kids. We certainly don’t believe it should be avoided entirely - however there is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

So we’re unplugging, getting our hands dirty, and getting in touch with a little imagination!

As a sitter, you have a very special job. You don’t have to deal with quite as much discipline as the parents, and while you do have to be in control, you get to really let loose, play, and have fun!

1. Be Present


Don’t be the babysitter that scrolls through Instagram while the kids play.

Get involved, come up with new ideas, and ask questions! Kids have 1 million questions… just ask any parent. This is the perfect opportunity to allow them to explore new ideas and be silly. When they ask you a question that you don’t know the answer to, look it up together.

When they come to you with an idea for a new game to play, hear them out. It may sound messy or unrealistic, but get creative and come up with a solution.

2. Schedule Time to Create


The possibilities are endless here! Encourage your kids to create something special that is their very own. Maybe start by showing them a book of paintings that you like, or a craft that you are good at.

Unleash their inner Picasso with a new coloring book. Or write a song together and help them perform it for their parents. Put on a play. Make a new costume. Bake something.

3. Play Along with Silliness


Parents rely on sitters to have that extra boost of energy that they may not have after a long day at work. Along with being present, this means participating in all of the silly shenanigans that kids love.

Having a tea party? Join the tea party. Invite an imaginary guest! Ask them questions about what types of tea and treats are being served.

4. Keep it Basic


Imagination comes from a desire for something more - more adventure or excitement. We imagine the characters in our stories because our brains want to see the story. You can foster this creativity by using simpler materials for activities.

Build something out of simply cardboard boxes.

Find random knick knacks around the house and open a store, or fill a treasure chest.

The idea is that something special can come out of something simple.

5. Make Up a Bedtime Story


Shake up the status quo and show your kids that you don’t always have to follow the lines on a page. Instead of reading a story from the bookshelf, consider making one up and asking them to help you fill in the details.

Just be careful allowing them to take too much control, or you might be listening to a story about penguin pirates until the sun comes up!


NannyPod provides long term nanny matches and short term occasional date-night babysitters and infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly by using the NannyPod app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!

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