Imaginative Play Activity: My Invention


Have you ever purchased a toy only to have your kid play with the packaging for hours instead?

Imagination influences everything we do and is essential to new ideas, concepts and inventions. It’s also a vital part of childhood—encouraging creativity and helping with kids’ social and emotional development.

With imaginative play, children can turn the simplest of objects into new toys and even new inventions.

Our My Invention imaginative play activity below is not only tons of fun for kids, but also has a variety of learning outcomes, including all SEL standards about empathy/perspective (since they have to think like someone else), creative thinking, problem-solving and public speaking (if they do the commercial part).

My Invention Challenge:

Step One (parents): Choose up to 7 random objects (e.g., reusable water bottle, scarf, spatula, rubber bands, etc.). These objects will be introduced as “parts of an invention,” and it will be up to your kids to assemble it. (See photo below for an example.)

Step Two: Have your kids fill out our Invention Worksheet, which asks them questions about what the invention is used for and asks them to draw a picture of what it looks like when it’s assembled. For the purposes of this exercise, it does NOT have to be a working model when assembled; they are encouraged to use their imaginations instead. (I used to use this activity when teaching props design, when the finished product is most often not the real thing!)

Step Three (optional): Have your kids create a commercial for their invention.

Step Four (optional): Encourage your kids to repeat the activity using items they have in their own homes.

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