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Why toys that encourage imagination and play are so important for little ones
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Why toys that encourage imagination and play are so important...


Pretend play has been linked to improved academic performance in literacy and maths from an early age, as well as better social skills and problem solving

Look no further for ways to spark their creativity with hands-on activities that will keep them busy for hours this Christmas

As the nights draw in and the days get shorter, it can be tough to think of things to do with the kids.

When the weather’s a washout and you’re stuck indoors, it’s tempting to stick them in front of a screen to keep them busy – and give yourself a bit of time off.

But Play-Doh has a fun option that means you don’t have to do that.

Instead, spark their imaginations with toys that encourage creative play – like the Busy Chef’s Restaurant playset, a must-have gift this Christmas.

Guaranteed to entertain them for hours, and plenty of fun for all the family, it’s a proper hands-on present: no screens, technology or (the worst!) fiddly batteries in sight.

Spark their imaginations with toys that encourage creative play – like the Busy Chef’s Restaurant playset

Watch them run their very own miniature restaurant, using Play-Doh product to rustle up make-believe meals, serve imaginary customers and play every role from chefs to waiters.

With Play-Doh, the sky really is the limit to the amazing fantasy foods they can create – from pretend pink spaghetti to blue bananas, green pizzas to red chips – and they’ll love taking charge of their own tiny food empire!

As Christmas hurtles nearer, the Busy Chef’s Restaurant playset is the ultimate gift to find beneath the tree; one that keeps kids happy, and their parents too.

Not only does it provide endless fun, games and laughter, but your little ones will be learning about different foods, shapes and colours while they play.

And once they’ve spent all day dreaming up make-believe fruit, veg and other ingredients, you never know… you might find it easier to sneak some on to their plates!

Not only does it provide endless fun, games and laughter, but your little ones will be learning about different foods, shapes and colours while they play

The experts at Play-Doh – the UK’s number one property in Art and Craft* – know only too well how important it is to stimulate young minds.

Research has proven the importance of imaginative play as a cognitive exercise that not only trains the brain, but kick-starts a skill that will last a lifetime.

As adults, we may find it harder to tap into our imaginations, but the lessons we learned as pre-schoolers come into play almost everyday in grown-up life: whether it’s making plans, visualising solutions or being able to immerse ourselves in a good book or film.

Scientific studies have linked creative toys and games with better social skills, problem-solving and feeding the curiosity that helps kids’ intelligence to grow and grow.

Not only that, but pretend play has been linked to improved academic performance in literacy and maths from an early age.

As Albert Einstein put it: ‘Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere!’.

Whether it’s running a shop for imaginary customers, a school for their action figures, or a zoo with all the cuddly toys in the house, it’s both heartwarming and encouraging to see their little brains ticking over as they picture what will happen next.

But so often our kids opt for electronic toys that sap the creativity from playtime, and leave mums and dads with a headache at the end of the day.

Research has proven the importance of imaginative play as a cognitive exercise that not only trains the brain, but kick-starts a skill that will last a lifetime

By putting them in front of hands-on, physical toy that encourages them to get stuck in and put themselves in the game, you’re appealing to their imagination instead.

So, whether you’ve got a screen-obsessed toddler or a four-year-old who’s climbing the walls on a rainy day, Play-Doh has plenty to offer.

At just £29.99, including five tubs of colourful Play-Doh product to let their creativity shine, the Busy Chef’s Restaurant playset is the ideal Christmas gift for your little bright spark.

Watch them dream up make-believe burger toppings, fantastical fries and crazy cookies in all the colours of the rainbow, using moulds, stamps and kitchen accessories including a rolling pin, pizza slice and menu board.

Ideal for mini MasterChefs, wannabe waiters and budding entrepreneurs, as well as fussy foodies who could do with some encouragement at mealtimes, it’s the perfect all-rounder – and trust us when we say the whole family will want to join in the fun!

So let their imagination run wild, cut down on screentime – and give that special little person in your life the gift that keeps on giving this Christmas.

RAINY DAY IDEAS FOR IMAGINATIVE PLAY

Stop them getting bored or switching on the TV with these five top tips for games and activities to spark their imaginations…

Indoor scavenger hunt: You don’t have to be outside to hunt for treasure! Make a list of objects found around the house – from wooden spoons to coasters – and set a time limit for your little explorers to find them all. Living room Olympics: From long-jump into a pile of cushions to egg and spoon races (using balled socks rather than real eggs), you can set all sorts of sporty challenges indoors – and get the grown-ups involved, too. Just don’t let anyone try to high jump over the sofa! Play-Doh people: Use Play-Doh product to make a self-portrait – or create mini models of everyone in the family. These would be great as table place settings on Christmas Day; what better way to put smiles on your guests’ faces? Den-building: Use blankets, cushions and duvets to turn a corner of your living room into a kids-only den. String some fairy lights up inside and get stuck into your favourite stories: the perfect way to spend a soggy afternoon. Parcel-tape racetrack: Use parcel tape on the kitchen floor to make a huge racetrack for their cars. Think creatively – it can go over chairs and tables, around obstacles… anywhere, really, except under mum’s feet! Set a start and finish line and hold your very own

WIN a bundle of Play-Doh goodies plus family tickets to Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World

Meet Peppa and George, as well as all your other favourite characters from the TV show, and step inside a world of creativity, fun and laughter at the world’s first Peppa Pig World.

You’ll also get a £250 travel allowance – and we’ll throw in £500 spending money, so you can stock up on plenty of goodies along the way.

Your little explorer will also receive a bundle of must-have Play-Doh goodies, including the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Busy Chef’s Restaurant Playset, Pizza Oven Playset, Magical Mixer Playset and Picnic Shapes Starter Set, all specifically designed for creative play around make-believe food!

A Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Busy Chef’s Restaurant Playset is one of the fun sets in the bundle

For your chance to win an experience they’ll never forget, click here to enter this incredible competition today.

All you have to do is write and tell us what your kids would create with the Play-Doh Busy Chef’s Restaurant playset in 200 words or less!

You have until midnight 1 January 2024 to enter. Good luck!

All prizes must be claimed and booked by October 2024.  For full details, terms and conditions, visit our terms and conditions page.

* Source: Circana UK Retail Tracker, YTD October 2023, value sales.



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