children playing in sandpit

Unleash the Magic: Imaginative Play Ideas for Kids [6 ideas]

Children love imaginative play, and whether indoors or outside, there are countless opportunities to incorporate magical and creative ideas into their playtime. Whether you’re planning a special occasion or simply looking for ways to engage your little ones, these imaginative play ideas will inspire their creativity and provide hours of entertainment.

1) Pirate Play Adventure

Ahoy, little adventurers! Embark on a thrilling pirate voyage with this imaginative play idea that will transport your children to the high seas. Whether it’s a rainy day or a sunny afternoon, this playtime adventure is sure to ignite their imagination and keep them busy all day long.

To begin, gather some basic materials to create a pirate ship setting. Use chairs, blankets, and pillows to construct a makeshift ship in your living room or backyard. Encourage your little ones to dress up as sea-travelling pirates with pirate hats or bandanas and cardboard swords. Now, it’s time to set sail!

Encourage your kids to create a treasure map by drawing a simple route with landmarks around your home or backyard. You can even hide small treasures or treats along the way for your valiant voyagers to keep the excitement building.

As they navigate the imaginary sea, encourage them to engage in role playing and storytelling. Let their creativity soar as they encounter storms, sea monsters, and friendly sea creatures along their journey.

This imaginative play idea not only promotes creativity and storytelling skills but also encourages teamwork and problem-solving as they work together to navigate their pirate adventure. So, set sail with your little pirates and let their imaginations run wild on the high seas!

kids in play tent

2) Tea Party Water Play

Make a splash with tea party water play to unleash your little one’s imagination.

Set up a water activity table with teapots, teacups and teabags. Children can pour the water into the cups and have a pretend tea party. You can enhance the sensory play by adding other elements, such as flower petals, food colouring or bubbles, to the water for a royal sensory tea party like no other.

Sensory play can help your little ones develop their fine and gross motor skills as they hold teacups, pour from teapots and pass plates to their friends as they play.

children playing with water table

3) Castle Building Competition

Building blocks are an excellent way to encourage imaginative play, and a castle-building competition is a perfect imaginative game for kids.

Select one child to be the judge and divide the rest into teams. Give each team a set of building blocks and thirty minutes to make their most imaginative castle design come to life. Encourage children to work together in groups to create the most impressive castle.

Children can bring their architectural creations to life and let their imaginations run free with this task by adding details like moats, drawbridges, and turrets. The sky’s the limit!

Once the time is up, the judge can choose their favourite castle based on design, features, and fun!

Another way to carry out this building competition is to replace building blocks with cardboard boxes and other recyclable materials. With cardboard boxes, there’s even the option to decorate and paint the castle to add flair to the finished design!

This activity promotes active social play and the development of key skills such as turn-taking, team building and creativity, so everyone’s a winner!

building blocks

4) Dressing Up Fun

Dressing up is an imaginative way for your little ones to engage in pretend play and explore different costumes and attire, from dragons to doctors or superheroes to chefs. The possibilities are endless! You could even incorporate sensory elements into the fancy dress by adding fabrics with different textures, such as silk or velvet.

Dress-up play offers a multitude of benefits for children’s development and well-being. It’s not just about putting on costumes and pretending to be someone else; it’s a gateway to imagination and creativity. When children dress up as different characters, they embark on a journey of self-expression, boosting their confidence and nurturing their creativity.

Children develop essential social skills through fancy dress play as they interact with others in character. They learn to cooperate, share, and take turns, fostering positive relationships and empathy. Additionally, dressing up encourages language development and communication skills as children engage in storytelling and role playing, expanding their vocabulary and ability to express themselves.

Overall, it’s a powerful tool for holistic development, allowing children to explore, imagine, and grow.

child on a swing

5) Backyard Banquet

Orders up! A mud pie kitchen is a great way to incorporate sensory play into imaginative backyard play, whatever the season.  

Plum Discovery Mud Pie Kitchens are perfect for preparing a backyard banquet. The kit includes bowls for foraging, utensils for stirring, and an easy-cleaning painting screen to draw up the menu.

Little ones can mix and mould mud and water to create their own mud pies and pretend to be chefs in a busy kitchen. You can also add some natural ingredients to the mud pies, such as herbs or flowers, to make them more lavish for the special occasion. Children can use their imagination to create their own mud pie recipes and serve them to their guests.

mud pie kitchen

6) Space Explorers

3, 2, 1… Blast off! Take your children on an intergalactic journey with this imaginative play idea that will transport them to the far reaches of outer space. Get ready to explore distant planets and experience the wonders of the cosmos right from the comfort of your own home.

Start by transforming a room into a spaceship. Use blankets, chairs, and cardboard boxes to create a spacecraft command centre. You could even provide your little space explorers with astronaut costumes, complete with helmets and backpacks filled with essentials for their mission.

Set the stage by playing space-themed music and turn off the lights to create a starry atmosphere. Use glow-in-the-dark stickers or paper cut-outs to decorate the room with planets and stars.

Next, guide your children through a series of space missions. They can embark on an expedition to Mars, search for new galaxies, or even encounter friendly space creatures. Encourage them to use their imagination to describe what they see and communicate with mission control (you) throughout their space exploration.

To enhance the experience, they could build their own rocket ships using recycled materials; the sky’s the limit!

child reading space book

Imaginative play is a fantastic way to inspire children’s creativity and let them use their imagination. From pirate play to backyard banquets, there are plenty of activities that will ignite your little one’s imagination and provide hours of entertainment.

These imaginative play ideas for preschoolers and older children are bound to spark imaginations, and they’re also great for developing sensory skills, promoting socialisation, and encouraging role play. So next time you’re planning a party or looking for some play ideas for kids, consider incorporating some of these imaginative play ideas for an unforgettable experience that’s sure to be a winner with the kids.

If you try out any of these ideas, share your adventures with us @PlumPlayAus #lifeatplay

Make a Splash for World Ocean Day this June

Make a Splash for World Ocean Day this June

Oceans are an essential part of the Earth’s ecosystem because they provide us with food, oxygen and help to regulate the planet’s climate.  So, looking after them is important to protect the marine life that calls oceans home.

When is World Ocean Day Celebrated?

World Ocean Day is celebrated around the globe on 8th June to raise awareness about ocean conservation. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to engage children in ocean-themed play and activities that can ignite their curiosity and love of nature.

Discover some of our favourite ocean play ideas to teach your little ones about marine life, from creating a backyard ocean to jellyfish suncatchers. These activities will make a splash and inspire young minds to protect and cherish our oceans.

ocean floor photo

1) Create a Backyard Ocean

One way to immerse children in the world of oceans is by making your own mini ocean in your back backyard.

Set up a shallow pool or wooden sand and water table and fill it with water to represent the vastness of the sea. Add pebbles, seashells, and your child’s favourite sea creature water toys to create a visually appealing underwater scene.

Once your ocean scene is set up, the world is their oyster! Children can use their imagination to play with toy boats, simulate waves, and discover the incredible marine life in their ocean play pool. This hands-on sensory water play allows kids to understand the interconnectedness of ecosystems and learn about different sea creatures that live in the sea.

Creating an ocean sensory pool can be beneficial to your child’s development. The different toys and materials in the sensory pool create tactile sensations and colourful patterns in the water, captivating the curiosity of young children. Engaging in this interactive experience encourages learning through touch, enhances dexterity, and promotes sensory exploration.

child playing with Plum Play Build and Splash

2) Eggbox Ocean Craft

Another ocean-themed play idea is to let children explore their artistic side by making an eggbox ocean craft and creating their seascape.

You will need:

🌊 Egg cartons

🌊 Paint – blue and green are ideal colours

🌊 Paintbrushes

🌊 Cardboard

🌊 Glue

🌊 Scissors

🌊 Natural materials – shells, pebbles and seaweed work well

Collect empty egg cartons and help children paint the sections blue to resemble the ocean. Then, encourage them to create their own underwater scenes using various art supplies such as cardboard cut into sea shapes, like starfish and natural materials like shells and seaweed.

Get kids to pop their ocean creations into the eggbox, which acts as the ocean backdrop to complete their design.

This craft activity encourages creativity and imagination while fostering discussions about the importance of protecting marine habitats and conserving our oceans.

eggbox next to Plum Play Discovery Natureplay Hideaway

3) Jellyfish Suncatcher

Jellyfish are mesmerising creatures that captivate the imagination of children. To celebrate World Ocean Day, engage kids in creating Jellyfish Suncatchers.

You will need:

🪸 Pencil

🪸 Black cardboard

🪸 Tissues paper in lots of colours

🪸 Glue

🪸 Ribbon

🪸 Scissors

Start by drawing a Jellyfish body outline on black cardboard paper and cut this out. Also, cut out the middle of the jellyfish shape; this is where the colourful tissue paper will go to create the suncatcher.

Time to get colourful! Kids can get creative here and use their favourite colours in lots of shapes and sizes to create a vibrant suncatcher pattern. Let kids stick pieces of coloured tissue paper to the middle of the jellyfish, working from the edges to the centre.

Then, help them cut out long, dangling tentacles from colourful ribbons or attach these tentacles to the bottom of the jellyfish and secure them with glue.

 Hang the finished suncatchers near windows, allowing the sunlight to shine through and illuminate the shimmering colours. As children admire their creations, it’s an excellent opportunity to start a discussion with your little one about the significance of jellyfish to ocean life and the importance of looking after all the creatures in the ocean.

Coloured tissue paper

4) Fishing for Numbers

Fishing for Numbers is a playful way to introduce young children to numbers while enjoying the ocean theme.

Create fish-shaped cut-outs from colourful cardboard and write numbers on each fish. Attach a paper clip to each fish.

Make a fishing rod using a stick, string, and a magnet tied to the end of the line.

Spread the fish cut-outs on the floor and have the children take turns fishing for numbers.

As they catch a fish, ask them to identify the number and count aloud.

This activity enhances numeracy skills and hand-eye coordination. This activity is also versatile – on the other side of the fish, you can write letters and get children to fish for the letters of their name or to spell ocean-related words. This can also help children develop their letter recognition, reading and literacy skills.

Plum Play Build and Splash activity table

World Ocean Day provides the opportunity to talk with your little one about the importance of caring for the world and looking after oceans and the sea creatures that live in them. We hope these play suggestions have given you some fun ideas on engaging your children in ocean-themed play, sparking their imaginations and making a splash this World Ocean Day.

If you try out any of these ideas, share your adventures with us @PlumPlayAus #lifeatplay

Plum Play 2020 Christmas Gift Guide

This year outdoor spaces have become more valuable than ever before, making outdoor toys this year’s must-have products. We have put together our own gift guide, to help you find the best outdoor toys to surprise your little ones with this Christmas.

Gifts for 12+ Months

Our Little Plum picks will create a magical first Christmas for you and your baby, from their very first swing, creating hours of laughter and play all the way to their brave first climb. Watch your child grown and develop through active play, with our specialised items, perfect for outdoor adventures.

Gifts for 3+ Years

As your little ones grow more and more energetic than ever before, we have selected four of our favourite products for your inquisitive adventurer, that will inspire their imagination and put their increasing energy into hours of playtime.

Combining sand, water and storage with outdoor eating and drawing, what could be better for social play with a friend.

The Plum® Tamarin Wooden Swing Set will inspire hours of outdoor fun and active play. For a little fun and adventure, the Plum® Tamarin Natural Wood Swing Set is the perfect play platform. Swing to the sky and swoop down the slide!

Gifts for 6+ Years

At 6+ years your child is an independent explorer. They want to create their own world and set out on new adventures each day. Adventure play will build your little ones confidence as they push their boundaries and reach new heights while developing new skills.

The Plum® Free Standing Wooden Monkey Bars are perfect for monkeying around. Watch as they burn off energy and conquer swinging across from bar to bar.

Plum’s Space Zone Trampolines with Spring Safe® technology promise an even safer, springier bounce. These trampolines are perfect for the whole family, and built for long-lasting outdoor fun!

Bring the trampoline park to your own backyard

The ultimate fun for the whole family imagine their faces when they wake up and see the Plum Freebound Bowl Trampoline® in the backyard!

Trampoline fun with Zara’s Play Tribe

We just love Zaras amazing play ideas and her creative ways to use her new Plum 8ft Trampoline are no exception. Check out her latest blog post below:

Ok, so we love the trampoline but why? Encouraging Aidan and Evie to use their gorgeous energy in a positive way is HARD, especially when we are stuck at home. Have the trampoline as a crazy zone outlet is just perfect for the moments when they need to bounce off the walls…because they literally can!

Physical exercise is not only something my kids love it is a necessity! Did you know the Australian Department of Health states ‘ Preschoolers (aged 3 – 5 years) should spend at least 180 minutes a day in a variety of physical activities, of which 60 minutes is energetic play such as running, jumping and kicking and throwing, spread throughout the day.’


Stuck for ways to play on your trampoline?

Here are just a few that will not only inspire your active children but will make them laugh too! I use a lot of these, especially in the cooler months as it encourages the kids to move outside and keep their bodies moving!


You can do this with 1 balloon or 20, it really doesn’t matter! The way the balloons jump, bounce and float within the trampolines safety enclosure is just so much fun! Throw them to friends, try and jump on them, whatever you feel like!


Although this balloon was very hard to pop, I recommend doing it on a warm day! This is a 90cm latex balloon from our local party store. I filled it with water, tied the top and let the kids at it. It ended up taking 3 hours for this one to pop, that is three hours full of jumping, crashing and giggling. This also works with standard balloons but of course you can’t fill them with quite this much water. Check it out


Have you ever tried drawing on your trampoline with chalk? The colours are SO vibrant! Draw some shapes, jump on the shapes until they disappear and then start again. If it is a warm day, grab the hose once you have finished and get the kids to clean the trampoline!


Too cold to go outside? Take your doona and some pillows and make a warm and cosy trampoline bed. Don’t forget some books and maybe even a nice warm cuppa! Be warned though, there is a high possibility this will turn into a game of ‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed’.

SPRINKLER TRAMPOLINE The perfect summer game, those days when it is too hot to run around but there is still lots of energy trapped inside us! Pop a sprinkler under your trampoline and GO!

For even more fun play ideas be sure to check out Zara’s Instagram @zaras_play_tribe

Sensory Play Time with Zara’s Play Tribe

As the Melbourne weather warms up we are spending more and more time outdoors. Ever heard the outdoors referred to as nature’s playground? Well, that is exactly what it is. Endless opportunities for play right out your back door!

Although our backyard already offers many sensory experiences in our grass, trees, flowers, textures, smells and sounds, sometimes Aidan and Evie like me to take it a step further and offer different sensory adventures.

We recently got an outdoor sensory table, it is called a sand and water table BUT has so much more potential than just sand and water!

Although it does have a removable lid, the lid rarely goes on because the kids are too busy creating! There are two sections in the table, one that is made for wet substances and one that is made for dry. Let’s be honest, it all ends up getting mixed together which is AMAZING!

So far, we have tried a few different table combinations:

  • Sand & Water with scooping and pouring utensils
  • Beans & Coloured Water as a potion making station
  • Blue gelatin & ocean animals as an ocean theme
  • Truck washing station

When I reset the table I have left the ‘leftovers’ from previous play in there, it adds extra elements and the kids love building on their previous play experiences.

Engaging in sensory play outside not only gives the kids room to move and explore in new ways it gives me, as their mum, peace of mind knowing that the couch, the carpet, and the walls won’t get covered in sensory goodies. Plus kids and fresh air certainly have a certain magic about it!

The best part is that cleaning up is literally just hosing it all down, how good is that!

Thanks for the fantastic review. For even more amazing play ideas, check out Zara’s website