Editor’s Picks: The best ways to bring your kids’ imaginations to life.

Disney On Ice
Thanks to our brand partner, Disney On Ice

When I was a kid, I got the Imagination Award in year one. I was a ballet dancing, twirling, whirling talkative six-year-old.

These days, though my chances of being a ballet dancer are slim (I still hold out hope though) my imagination is just as wild.

Your imagination is world of mystery and magic, but also a place where you can find creative solutions to everyday problems. It’s the kind of thing I want to cultivate in my children.

Here are my top picks for imaginative family adventures.

Take the kids to Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival.

Disney On Ice is a fun way for your kids to imagine their favourite characters as living a life outside the (television) box.

Disney creates a whole new world (geddit!) for their beloved stories and characters, with a fantastic family show.

This season, Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival, features all your kids’ favourite characters from Frozen for the first time. Imagine a real life Princess Elsa skating to ‘Let it go’ in front of your child’s very eyes.

And when you get home, you can show your child how to pretend the kitchen tiles are an ice rink and that their socks are ice skates.

Image: Supplied. ©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Create your own dress up box.

If you’re anything like me, you likely have a box of costume jewellery you bought on the cheap in your 20s that you can’t really bear to throw away. It seems so wasteful, right?


This is the beginning of your dress up box. And to it you can add, a couple of pairs of dancing shoes that have done their time, and your partner’s ugly ties and the suit from his Year 12 formal that he refuses to chuck away. Throw in a couple of your old scarves and hats and visit an op shop for a few fancy second hand dresses.

Now you have princes, princesses, doctors, lawyers, journalists, farmers, witches and wizards all waiting for your child to conjure forth with their imagination.

Dress ups is a great way to engage your child's imagination. Image iStock.

Use pool noodles in creative ways.

My father-in-law is an industrious and clever man. He’s often very practical, but in a way that means he can find many uses for a variety of common household objects.

Which is probably how he ended up chopping an old pool noodle in half and using it for pretend sword fighting, indoor ice hockey (just add a soft ball from the baby’s toy box) and for trumpet fan fares at semi-regular intervals. Quite an imaginative approach, yes?

Keep a rainy day box.

 Look, I’m not gonna lie. The Disney DVDs get quite a work out on rainy days at our house. But after a time, everyone needs something else to do for a little while.

I keep a “Rainy Day Box” which is filled with coloured paper, glue, cotton balls, coloured pipe cleaners, scraps of fabric (if there is a seamstress in your life, she – or he – will probably have a big bag they would love to palm off to you), dried pasta, toilet rolls, egg cartons and glitter. We put a plastic table cloth down and enjoy a spot of crafternooning.


Let your kids get creative! Image: iStock.

Make Milk Arrowroot faces.

 The joy of my childhood birthday parties were the milk arrowroot faces my mum would make.

Get a packet of milk arrowroot biscuits and paint the back of them with plain icing. Have the kids decorate them with smarties for eyes, liquorice for noses and jelly beans for smiles.

Encourage your child to create different expressions for the faces, and maybe even create stories for the people behind the faces.

Best enjoyed with a hot chocolate.

Seriously, who doesn't love any excuse to eat biscuits. Image: iStock.

Build an indoor cubby house.

Step 1: Gather the materials. You’ll need chairs, a table, sheets or quilts, pillows and pegs. The pegs are to help hold things together if required.

Step 2: Encourage the kids to build a cubby house.

Step 3: Make yourself a cup of tea and drink it while it’s hot.

Step 4: Optional. If you’re lucky, the kids will be so pleased with their new home they’ll take a nap in there.

How do you spark your child's imagination?