Imaginative play is an open-ended, unstructured form of play that allows learners to use and grow their imagination. This free play allows a learner to develop essential language and social skills and also fosters problem-solving skills and creativity. This happens through the use of abstract thinking, intercommunication, and imitation of parents and other influences. This free play also allows for emotional growth by encouraging behavior that will entertain or occupy a learner when they are not otherwise engaged.
Research has found a relationship between pretend play and a child’s developing creativity, understanding of others and social competence with peers.