Bear Soup - Imaginary Play for Kids

Bear Soup - Imaginary Play for Kids

Inside: Imaginary play idea for toddlers and kids. This dramatic play idea can be set up in minutes!

"Rescue the Bears"

"Bear Soup" 

Call it what you will, but this imaginary play idea will take on its own mission once your children get started.

Imaginary play such as this activity, along with these 50+ Preschool activities, act as the building blocks of learning that unlock creativity. 

imaginary play ideas for kids

One of the most remarkable things about children is that they can use their imagination without fear of someone claiming it as a "bad idea".  Rocks can be transformed into cars, and plastic bears can be seen as a family of 5. Children are experts at play. 

In fact, this book is one of my favorites and has helped me better imaginative play. (affiliate link)

The important role for caregivers and educators are to provide opportunities such as this imaginary play idea, and then step away. 

"But will my child know what to do next?" 

The answer is a big, fat YES.

Remember, children are experts at play. The more they are given open-ended play opportunities such as Paint the Ice and Color Mixing, the better they will become at independent play.

Do not get discouraged if the very first imaginary play setup doesn't do what you had hoped it would. Practice, continue setting up opportunities, and you will see growth.  

imaginary play ideas for kids

Here's what you need for Bear Soup:

I can go on and on about how much my boys love these counting/sorting bears. We use them, plus these supplies, all of the time. I can also tell you how simple it is to set up imaginary play/sensory ideas here. 

(This list contains affiliate links) 

Water 

Add a variety of items from your kitchen. Here we like to use plastic ladles, plastic water pitchers, strainers, and old pots. We store all of these materials outside in a large plastic bin with a lid. 

imaginary play ideas for kids

We set up all of our sensory play up on a large, plastic shower liner. This way there is room for a little mess that is super simple to clean up. 

Typically, once my three-year-old and four-year-old are finished playing, I hang the plastic shower liner over the deck and let the sun do the rest. Once dried, I fold it up and place it back in the storage box for the following day.

This 3 minute set up, and 4 minute clean up is SO WORTH the 35 minutes of collaborative decision making and creativity.

imaginary play ideas for kids

Now it's time for some Bear Soup! 

Remember, it is time to step away and watch the play unfold from afar. Perhaps "Bear Soup" transforms to "Rescue the Bears". They are both JUST AS IMPORTANT.

Both of my boys scooped, poured and strained until they declared they were finished. When they come in with wet clothes, I simply take them off and toss them into the washer. Easy, breezy. 

Take on your summer break with this simple imaginary play idea today! 

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A Super Fun Color Sorting Game

A Super Fun Color Sorting Game

A Simple Sensory Bin for Ice Play

A Simple Sensory Bin for Ice Play