Imaginary Play

Childhood should be full of lots of imaginary play; I remember getting lost in games with my sister for days on end in the holidays. Here’s our pick of the best toys to stimulate little (and sometimes big) imaginations and adventures.

Elf on the Shelf

If you haven’t got an Elf to put on your shelf yet there’s still time before the big day! It will become a Christmas tradition finding that mischievous little Elf each morning.

£27.95 elfontheshelf.co.uk 

NASA astronaut outfit

Travel to the moon (and back!) and have adventures on the way wearing this official looking astronaut costume and talking helmet.

Outfit £50, helmet £45 Royal Observatory Shop

Hape beauty belongings kit

Getting ready to go out or dress up the ball has never been easier with this gorgeous (mess-free) wooden make up bag set.

£19.99 amazon.co.uk 

Pirate Costume

Sail the seas and walk the plank as a real pirate in this colourful costume from the National Maritime Museum.

£25 National Maritime Museum Shop

Fairy doors

Didn’t you know that fairies need magical doors to enter our world? Thankfully installation is very simple…

theirishfairydoorcompany.com

Little Carpenters Workbench

Perfect for imaginative play and hours of building fun with 25 pieces that can be hammered, screwed and bolted. 

£56 jamtoys.com

Play cafe

This cafe has bags of pretend play potential. Set up a tea shop or cafe for your toys, Mummy and Daddy or all your friends.

£185 gltc.co.uk

Real Adventure Den Kit

Harness kids’ sense of adventure and learn new skills with this Real Adventure Den Kit.

£34.95 littlescout.co.uk 

Cash register

A cash register is a must for a whole host of imaginary games from shops and restaurants to trips to the zoo or theatre.

£19.99 elc.co.uk

Knights & princesses playhouse

Knights and princesses can go on many adventures from their very fine castles. Can be personalised too.

small £200, large £235 wingreen.co.uk

Knight cape, sword & helmet

Perfect for battling dragons and rescuing maidens, your knight in training will look the part in this smart blue and gold cape.

Cape £19.95 harrods.com

Princess and pauper costume

Two costumes for the price of one to inspire wonderful tales from rags to riches.

 £34.99 thefairyprincess.co.uk

Wooden doctor's case

Little doctors will adore treating patients with this replica wooden doctor and nurse instruments.

£50 hedgehogshop.co.uk

Doc McStuffins Costume & Bag

Lovers of TV series, Doc McStuffins, will love this costume set and doctors bag. 

Costume £25.95 Bag £15 disneystore.co.uk

Spy master briefcase

The perfect present for budding secret agents who love gadgets and want to go undercover…

£9.99 shop.scholastic.co.uk

The amber house dolls house

A dolls house is a classic present that will encourage hours of imaginative play. This house comes plain for you to decorate and extend to your own specification.

£95 alwayshobbies.com