My favorite game when I was little went like this: I’d pack up a tote bag with random items around the house, grab a doll, go sit outside on a lawn chair, and pretend that I was a “mom at the pool.” So, I truly get the kids who’d rather play with their imaginary friends or pretend they’re a doctor or a teacher or even a horse than play board games or do a puzzle. On this list, you’ll find 17 of the best toys for imaginative play , and whether your child likes to build, play with vehicles or dolls, dress-up, or pretend to be a grown-up, there’s something they’ll love. More than just fun, imaginative play is important for kids’ social and emotional development. Research suggests that, “that make-believe games are forerunners of the important capacity for forms of self-regulation including reduced aggression, delay of gratification, civility, and empathy….Taking on different roles allows children the unique opportunity to learn social skills such as communication, problem-solving, and empathy,” per an article from Psychology Today which summarized multiple studies on the benefits of pretend play. And when your kids have toys and costumes to help their scene come alive, it makes it that much easier and more fun for your kid or toddler to get into imaginative play. From vet to astronaut, scientists or camper, there are so many things your kid can pretend to be, especially when they have toys and accessories to bring their world alive.