1. Award-Winning Care for Our World Play Set by Karen Robbins & Illustrated by Alexandra Ball
Robbins and Ball’s playset for middle grade children includes two essential elements for imaginative play: a book and a hands-on activity. The nonfiction book encourages kids to think about the environment and the world’s diverse animal species. To help drive the point home, young hands can punch out dozens of stand-up plants and animals. The set encourages children to engage in imaginative play with a habitat they create for themselves and animals and plants they can manipulate.
This playset has won (or been runner-up for) three awards: 2012 Playset of the Year (Creative Child Awards), 2012 Top Toy of the Year (Creative Child Awards), and 2012 Runner-up in the Children's Books Category (Green Book Festival).
2. Award-Winning Tickle Monster Laughter Kit by Josie Bissett & Illustrated by Kevan J. Atteberry
This interactive reading experience allows kids and caretakers to play together. The kit includes soft tickling gloves for acting out the Tickle Monster while reading the bedtime - or any time - story. Finger holes in the monster mitts make it easy to turn the pages and tickle at the same time.
Books help encourage children to be curious about their world, and reading out loud helps reinforce learning skills and the importance of reading. A comforting bedtime ritual encourages regular sleeping patterns and sound sleep. The memories that your child will make with you will last them a lifetime.
If your kids enjoy the Tickle Monster Laughter Kit, they may also like the Multiple Award Winner Boogie Monster Dance Kit by Josie Bissett/Compendium.
3. Kikkerland Critter Windups Awika and Pintacuda
This collectible wind-up toy can spark all kinds of imaginative play. It doesn’t quite look like anything familiar. It’s not quite a robot, it doesn’t quite resemble an insect, and it moves like something out of a scientist’s laboratory. Children can explore motion and mechanics, getting an early start on thinking about STEM concepts, while having fun with this 3-dimensional, moving piece of art.
If your kids like this wind-up toy, they might also like Kikkerland Window-Mount Solar-Powered Heart Rainbow Maker. It makes rainbows using refraction, a beautiful and fun way to get kids started thinking about the properties of light. You might inspire a future physicist.
4. Kinetic Sand Doggy Daycare Playset
This playset is quite hands-on and interactive for loosely-structured imaginative play. Kids can experience the texture of purple and green (nontoxic) kinetic sand, then use their hand-eye coordination and crafting skills to make canine friends using the included molds. Then they can play with their new puppies in the Doggy Daycare playset. This fun and colorful activity for kids ages three and up is also easy to clean up.
5. I LIKE... A Great Big Book of Awesome Activities, Delightful Drawings, and Fantastical Fun for Kids of All Ages. (That’s You!) Written by M.H. Clark and Illustrated by Sarah Walsh
This big, hands-on activity book will appeal to kids from the middle grades on up. It encourages not passive entertainment of the kind kids get from screen time, but active imagination and interaction with the pages. Kids must use their imaginations and creativity to complete this crafty book. It’s a great addition to any bedroom bookshelf or homework nook that can also travel with kids in the car, on appointments, etc.
Nourishing your kids’ imagination includes filling their personal space with play items that spark interactive and imaginative play rather than passive consumption. These are only a few on the imagination-kickstarting ideas you’ll find at dig/s Home Goods and Housewares. Shop at dig/s and improve the quality of life for all the members of the family, young and old.