I’m always telling my husband, “I don’t want Starfish to grow up because I love the stage he’s in”. And at the time, I believe this to be true.
But I’ve been saying this constantly since Starfish was 4 months old – almost a year ago!
At every age and stage, there is something new to enjoy. From his budding personality to his achievement of new milestones, every day is an adventure.
What I am enjoying the most about Starfish’s current stage is his imagination. He is finally able to really enjoy his toys and start playing around with different objects to amuse himself. Whether it is using a couple of cups, or his wooden cars, Starfish has started to find new ways to explore and play with his toys. So I decided it was time to share some imaginative play ideas for toddlers!
Imaginative Play Ideas for Toddlers
One of his favourite toys has been his farm animals’ collection from Little Peggy’s. These figurines have been lovingly hand-crafted and painted to create little ‘dolls’ he can play with (and let’s be honest, chew on).
The Little Peggy’s dolls are also a favourite of mine as a teacher and a mum because of their many wonderful uses in helping Starfish learn and develop through play! In fact, I’ve found 6 different ways the Little Peggy’s figurines have supported Starfish’s imaginative play that I wanted to share with you!
“Puppets” for a Nursery Rhyme
Starfish loves music and nursery rhymes, as he gets to dance and clap along to the music. The Little Peggy’s dolls have been a wonderful addition to our singing of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, as they act as little ‘puppets’ we can use while we’re singing. This also has the added benefit of supporting Starfish’s learning of different animals and the sounds they make.
Imaginative Play with Lego
While Starfish is only just getting into the use of Lego, the Little Peggy’s make the perfect accessories for imaginative play. Our Farm Peggys added an extra element to the Lego as we built a farm scene and populated it with the peggys. As Starfish’s play with Lego develops, he’ll be able to re-enact farmyard scenes using his peggys and the Lego (for example, he could recreate his experience of visiting the Farmyard at Symbio).
Cloud Dough Or Sand Props
All children love to play with sand (and Cloud Dough, it’s awesome!), and we know they love to get their hands dirty, but they also love to explore with props and objects as well. As the peggys are well-coated in paint, they are sturdy enough to be used as props in sand or cloud dough play. Starfish loved using the dolls in the textured dough (although sometimes he may have confused them for shovels or drum sticks). This is a great way to engage your baby in sensory play particularly as they use the hard, solid peggys and the soft, rough dough.
Teaching animal sounds – Using Peggys, Cups and Klipees
Learning animal sounds is one of the early linguistic and cognitive stages most babies go through (and most parents try to teach their children). It is a way for us as parents to see our baby’s learning, as they begin to make an animal sound when presented with a certain animal. Of course, there are things we can do to help our babies learn these sounds. Firstly, presenting our children with the animal and making the sound is a good place to start. However, children are going to be presented with many representations of animals (real-life animals, cartoons, images, toys – all of different shapes and sizes), so it is important to emphasise the same noises and animal names with each depiction. We used the Peggys as another representation of the common farm animals Starfish has been introduced to. We accompanied the Peggys with the Klipee animal pictures to help reinforce the animal names and sounds (and as Starfish gets older, we can use the animal noise words that come with the klipees as well).
We also played a game with Starfish that we learnt from Kinedu, where we hid the peggy dolls under paper cups. As Starfish picked the cup off the animal, we practiced saying the name and the sound. He has begun trying to say “baa” for sheep – and with all things, it is a work in progress!
Nursery Décor Pieces
While this may not be as hands-on as the other suggestions, using the Peggys as Nursery Décor Items can not only brighten up your child’s bedroom, but can also be a source of imagination for them. I know Starfish sometimes takes a while to fall asleep during the day, and he’ll look around at the dinosaur decals on his wall (or the baby monitor). While we don’t know what is going on in their heads, having something to watch and engage with mentally can help calm them down if they’re distressed, and will also create a lasting emotional attachment to the item as they grow up (who doesn’t have a cherished childhood toy?).
The Peggys can also be used for props during the reading of a story, particularly if your child doesn’t “sit” and read very well. For the active or ‘bored’ toddler, the Peggys can be used to help re-create the story. Giving your child a role in the story can increase engagement, develop turn-taking and support their linguistic development. You can grab a book with all the animals in it (Like “The Noisy Farm” that Starfish loves!) or an animal-specific book like “Where is the Green Sheep” by Mem Fox.
We absolutely love the Little Peggys dolls, and I think the best thing about them is that they will grow with Starfish. As he grows older, he will be able to engage in more imaginative play ideas using the Peggys such as pretend play and playing with friends.
The perfect Christmas Gift for Imaginative Toddlers!
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your toddler this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with Little Peggys! They have a range of designs to choose from, so you can find ANY of your child’s favourites! Make sure you check out their store here, or their Facebook page or Instagram Page.
Plus this post is part of Mummy Confession’s Blogaversary Scavenger Hunt! So answer this question on their website for your chance to win a big prize! What Little Peggy set would you get for your child for Christmas?