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Imaginary Friends

Children from around 3 to 8 years of age often create their own imaginary friends.

This is a natural developmental phase for children which is grown out of a healthy and active imagination. While children are engrossed in a wonderful world of play and fantasy – dreaming of animal friends having picnics on your roof at night or flying dragons and toys coming alive when no one else is around – a child’s imaginary friends is able to help them express their feelings, practise social skills, and understand the developing world around them.

Generally a child’s imaginary friends are based on someone or something they have seen or are reasonably familiar with. That may be a person they know, a storybook character, or a soft toy. Other times it is a complete figment of their imagination, but is typically human. The imaginary friends presence in child’s life can vary from place and time duration as well – it may only exist in certain places and can come into a child’s life and then disappear again for a few months to a few years.

How is it that imaginary friends help children?

The imaginary friend is able to provide support to a child through the following ways:

· To play with them

· Do things the child is yet able to do

· Is special to just the child

· Doesn’t judge or find fault

Their imaginary friend is also able to help them explore parts of their world, but it is through the way that a child talks to their imaginative friend that can provide some insight into how they are feeling within their inner world.

If you are interested in discussing any of the points further or would like to hear about a particular topic, we would be more than happy to hear from you. Feel free to send an email to and we will answer any questions you may have.

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