The Magic of Imaginative Play

Our friends over at Carddies, have fantastic imaginative ideas! Here, Raquel, the co-creator of Carddies talks about the magic of imaginative play:

 Carddies, our little card people to colour and go, started off as people and animals I drew for my children on holiday-using the backs of cereal packs and any card to hand. We called them the Cardboard People, and we still have them all…The children would colour them in, give them names and use them to play games (for example, families, farms, schools, or just guessing the names they have each given to the little people). They also add to the families, making little beds for them, hot water bottles, little houses…

It is lovely to see how children who buy the Carddies now do similar things, although there are proper scenes to colour in with the toy, and a naming card (whereas my girls used to write the name on the back of each figure).


When I first started drawing Carddies for my children, I never imagined that one day they would be a product available for sale… Of course we have come a long way since the early Carddies, but the idea is still the same: a toy that enables children to use their imagination and creativity, with as much or as little adult involvement as the child wishes.

There are so many ways in which a parent can inspire a child to be creative-maybe by teaching them a skill the parent already has, such as sewing, knitting, drawing…or letting the child lead- I had never attempted weaving until I did it with my girls (on a very minor scale –hanky size but satisfying all the same). I have to admit that friendship bracelets were beyond me and I passed the buck to my husband one holiday (took him most of a day by the time all three were done!)

You do not have to be a brilliant sewer to make soft toys out of soft material that you stuff and add eyes to…choosing the material with your children. Or simply letting them paint, sprinkle glitter on pictures, mould clay into animals or shapes… So therapeutic, with amazing results! You can choose the activity based on how much time you have to spare, how involved you want to be on a given day, and how much mess you can bear at that moment.

One holiday the girls collected shells and then each stuck them to a piece of card, using colourful glue and glitter according to their taste/age. The youngest (very little at the time) just got sand and spread it out on the sheet, with some glitter. I think they all still look great, years on (but then again, I am their mother!)


Thanks to Raquel at Carddies for all her wonderful ideas. Why not get your little ones’ imaginations going too?
To check out some of their lovely products go to:

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