Why Imaginative Play Is So Important For Your Kids

Photo: Unicorn Tea-Party Anyone?

Kids have the biggest imaginations. An unused cardboard box can become a race car, spaceship or even a jungle raft. And giving kids the space and tools to dream up new ideas has big benefits for their growth and development, too.

From fostering crucial motor skills to learning how to communicate with others, imaginative play is the secret ingredient to happy, healthy kids. It’s also a stack of fun for kids of all ages as well.

So, let’s dive into the benefits of imaginative play for your little ones and show you how to use The Possum Play Couch to bring infinite, imaginative ideas to life.

The importance of imaginative play for kids of all ages

Playing dress ups and setting up forts isn’t just a recipe for hours of entertainment for the kids. Offering opportunities for unstructured, make-believe play helps foster emotional, social and physical development, too.

 

Here are just some of the reasons to encourage imaginative play with your kids:

 

  • Fosters creativity: dreaming up new ideas and transforming ordinary objects into spaces for play, adventure and fun is key to building budding creative minds. For example, acting out imaginary scenes builds storytelling skills and enhances creative thinking among little minds.
     
  • Aids physical development: learning how to jump, grasp, and handle new objects through imaginative plays helps to build hand-eye coordination and refine a range of important gross motor skills. Plus, research shows unstructured play builds strength, muscle control and coordination for growing kids.

 

  • Develops language and social skills: impersonating their favourite movie characters and acting out imaginary scenes helps kids master new words, communicate appropriately and share their big ideas with other kids.

  • Boosts problem solving skills: from finding the right materials for their castle to creating the perfect princess costume, kids develop essential problem-solving skills through imaginative play (that they’ll go on to use for the rest of their lives).

  • Teaches positive behaviour: learning how to read social cues and developing a sense of empathy for others helps little ones to express themselves and learn how to compromise and negotiate with their friends, too.

 

Clearly, imaginative play has a stack of big benefits for kids and sets them up with crucial skills they’ll continue to use and develop as they grow.

Offering opportunities for unstructured, make-believe play helps foster emotional, social and physical development

Photo: All aboard the rocket ship, we're about to take off!

How to spark moments of imaginative play

At every age, there are different ways to create and inspire imaginative play for kids. So, let’s look at the different stages of play and how to get the most out of unstructured play along the way.

Imaginative play for babies

In the first months after birth, play is a powerful way to foster developmental growth. It can start as simply as responding to baby’s smiles with positive reinforcement and showing them bright, interesting objects that they can touch and experience for the first time. The familar game of peek-a-boo helps foster imagination for your little ones as they start to imagine and anticipate what's hiding doing behind your hands.


Even placing your bub in different positions on a soft yet supportive couch allows them to see and experience the world from different angles and gets them familiar with new sensations.As your baby gets more mobile and starts to crawl and move about, you can configure cushions, blankets and other objects into obstacle courses that they can problem solve how to navigate around. They love imagining who or what might be hiding just around the corner or just out of view, so make sure to place toys and favourite objects behind cushions and just out of reach.

 

Imaginative play for toddlers

With more motor skills under their belt, toddlers can begin to explore the world around them through unstructured play.

Give your kids access to toys that are 'open-ended', meaning that they can be played with in multiple and varied says, depending on your child's input , and help them to engage in make-believe play (whether that’s simply pretending to drink out of an empty cup or baking an imaginary cake for their pop-up cake stall). Building blocks, magnetic tiles, or a play couch, are great examples of open ended toys that provide the perfect canvas to spur on little imaginations.

Regularly reading together in a cosy reading nook will also help your little ones discover stories and characters to inspire their imaginative play.

Imaginative play for young children

Making time for imaginative play is key at this stage as well as engaging with your kids and asking them questions about stories, plays or books you’ve read together.

Encourage your kids to sing, dance and dress up as their favourite characters to act out imaginary scenes or roles. Plus, get their friends involved and give them the chance to dream up new scenarios together.


To help encourage this kind of play, give them a safe environment to learn new skills and movements such as building, reaching and rolling indoors on a durable supportive surface. This kind of play is also a fantastic way to tire out kids with seemingly endless energy!

The thing we love most about The Possum's modular design? The options are only limited to your kid’s imagination.

How The Possum Play Couch inspires open-ended imaginative play

As kids, we always wished we had the tools to build the forts, castles and racing cars of our dreams. So, we created The Possum Play Couch to offer endless possibilities and configurations for hours of imaginative play.

Instead of destroying the family couch or tearing into the linen cupboard, The Possum’s modular kids play couch gives little minds the materials to bring their make-believe scenarios to life.

Each Possum Play Couch comes with six light-weight yet durable pieces (each with a machine washable cover) that can be lifted overhead and placed into whatever designs your kids dream up. And instead of spending hours in front of the screen, your kids will get lost in their wild ideas and imaginative adventures.

Need some inspiration? Here are just a few of our favourite Possum builds to spark imaginative play:

  • Create a cosy Aladdin’s Cave
  • Build a bulldozer
  • Recreate the Eiffel Tower
  • Tear it up in a Formula 1 Racing Car
  • Set up a farmer’s market stall
  • Design a hidden fort or reading nook

 

The thing we love most about The Possum's modular design? The options are only limited to your kid’s imagination. And as they grow up, The Possum grows with them to become a comfortable movie night seat or spot to lounge while flicking through their favourite read.

Photo: Ready to cruise through the city streets in my blue convertible

How we designed The Possum to bring out the best in play

Speaking of endless options, we poured our heart and soul into creating the colour palette of our dreams when designing The Possum Play Couch. With seven family and kid-friendly colours to choose from, we wanted to ensure each modern shade would shine in living rooms across Australia.

In fact, we worked with our customers to tweak and test each colour to find the ultimate shades to inspire imaginative play.

From our deep, dark Forest green to our warm, nutty Peanut shade, each colour is handpicked to provide the perfect canvas for endless everyday play.

When it comes to giving your kids the best start in life, imaginative play needs to be at the top of your agenda. And if you’re searching for the most versatile toy since the cardboard box, The Possum Play Couch is your answer. Whether your Possum transforms into a car, shopfront or rocket ship, The Possum gives your kids infinite hours of open-ended, brain-expanding, indoor energy-burning fun.

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Based on 76 reviews
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Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Toddler paradise!

We have the possum play couch for our almost 2 year old twins. Apart from it being comfy for lounging or reading books, they have an absolute ball playing with it, making new structures, jumping, climbing, crawling through. It keeps them entertained and best of all the design fits in well with our own home interior. Added benefit that the covers can be washed too!

Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler, Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Amazing

Kids love it and the color is beautiful, fits perfectly our rattan theme playroom

Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Indoor Energy Burner, High Quality, Great for Adults Too
Love it

So my fun for our baby and super comfy for us.

Age of User(s): School-Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time
LOVE

My kids can't get enough of this ever-changing lounge.

Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler, Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Amazing investment

We love it my boy hasn't left it alone all school holidays and he's been home 2 weeks. He uses it everyday which I love and I can see his little brother enjoying it once he's on the move. 😍 so far we have built tunnels, obstacle course, towers that we knock down, used them for beds. Possibilities are endless really considering another one already 🥳

Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler, Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Indoor Energy Burner, High Quality
Love!

Love our play couch! The most beautiful soft fabric and hours of fun for our busy girl.

Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler, Pre-School Aged, School-Aged, Adult
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Best play couch

We absolutely love our play couch! We have all been enjoying it and can’t live without it now. Best gift!

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged, School-Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, High Quality
Great fun for imaginative play and Dens!

Firstly, we were gobsmacked at how quickly it arrived, especially during covid. The cushions are vacuum packed so they take a few hours to plump out but once they are, they're firm yet soft. The material and zips are top quality. We're glad we paid a few extra bucks for the better quality.

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged, School-Aged, Adult
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Brilliant play couch!

We’re so happy with the possum play couch! Excellent quality, endless possibilities for play and perfect for relaxation. Highly recommended.

Age of User(s): Baby or Toddler
Favourite Features: Inspires Imaginative Play, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Amazing!!!!

We bought this for our grandson - best purchase ever! He loves it - as do his parents!

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler, Pre-School Aged, School-Aged, Teen, Adult
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Perfect

This is a great product. Fun, useful and versatile. Was sent quickly. Well packaged. Fantastic personal customer service.

Age of User(s): School-Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, High Quality, Easy to Clean
Family Fun

Great for 1 year old to 7 year old in exploring obstacle course or building a castle.

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged, School-Aged, Adult
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Quality is mint & multipurpose.

Great couch! Comfy for adults to be able to sit on as well as Bub to use for gross motor skills. The older children to use to build.
Between my 3 kids the couch definitely gets a work out! We love it.

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , Great for Adults Too
Great Fun

Delivery to New Zealand was delayed, but once it was out of the box the kids were into it. Once they got past trying to replicate others they were away, making caves surrounded by poisonous snakes to protect their treasure. I’d been looking for an open ended toy that they could build cubbies and things with, and this fits the bill perfectly. I love how multipurpose it can be.

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Great for Quiet Time , Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too
My son LOVES the Possum

This arrives right at the start of our *lockdown* and it was a genuine life saver. Additional to the ongoing creative play thats had is the fact that our son loves sleeping on it for his day naps. As a mum who works from home, this was a huge win! I have recommended this to so many of my friends. Epic creation.

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, High Quality, Great for Adults Too
Just buy it

I was on the fence about a play couch and now I have a Possum we’re already considering our second!! My kids are obsessed with it, they want to sleep on it every night and play on it all day

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged, Adult
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
We love ours!

They arrive so compact its incredible. I bought it because my son wont sleep alone at the moment so its doubling as a bed. Its so versatile my boys love it.
Be careful with the wrapping, I used a knife to cut the plastic and it went through and cut the fabric so take extra care!
Its great to build dens etc, my boys build 'ski ramps' I also set it up in the corner like a reading nook.

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Great for Quiet Time
The best kids-related purchase…perhaps ever?

My baby boy was born in Stage 4 lockdown last year and here we are again, celebrating his first birthday under the same conditions. With all the time spent at home, playing with his 4yo sister, this was the perfect addition to their bedroom. Many hours have been spent building cubbies and landing pads - worth its weight in gold.

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler, Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Great product

Satisfied customer

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler, Adult
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Great for all ages!

We have Two girls, one 11 months and one nearly 3, our 11 month old has moved so much more since having this couch. I think its because we are down on the floor with her more and she is able to explore and climb! Our nearly 3 year old has loved doing obstical courses with the couch which has saved me on the rainy days in lockdown!

I also find my husband having a sneeky snooze on it too so it's great for all ages.

I hope to add more to our collection.

Thanks 😊

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Absolutely Ahmazzibg

My son is 15 months old and we are having so much fun with these open ended play couches. When my son is napping, I change the set up each day. So many different ways to play! Highly recommend this to anyone! Makes the perfect gift also. The quality is also superior! Thank you

Age of User(s): School-Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, Great for Quiet Time , High Quality, Easy to Clean, Great for Adults Too , Great Customer Service
Love the Possom Play Couch

My daughter is enjoying the Possom Play Couch. So many ways of using the couch, made play time more fun. Totally recommend if your looking for one

Age of User(s): Pre-School Aged, School-Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner, High Quality, Great for Adults Too
Worth every cent!

I have 3 boys aged 2, 4 and 6 and we were recently in lockdown, my husband mocked me and said I bought a really expensive 'cushion', but it has been the best thing, they play for ages and start using their other toys again in the games. Good for indoor physical movement activity.

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler, Pre-School Aged
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Inspires Imaginative Play, Indoor Energy Burner

The Possum Play Couch

Age of User(s): Baby & Toddler
Favourite Features: Kids Love It, Indoor Energy Burner, High Quality
Fantastic!!

My son absolutely loves this couch! We make all sorts of shapes for him to play and he just loves reading books and resting on there too! Perfect addition to the playroom