In a world of complex toys, every game digitally at your fingertips and more information in our pocket than we could ever take in, the art of imaginative play and wonder seem to be slipping slowing from our children’s grasp. No longer are children creating rocket ships out of cardboard boxes or constructing backyard playhouses out of pine straw, leaves and sticks.
Imagination is important and plays a vital role in the cognitive, social and emotional development of kids. Parents can create intentional spaces for kids to grow and stretch their imaginations.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge… For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world” – Albert Einstein
Here are five simple tips to help your child grow their imagination:
- Journals for writing about experiences, feelings, new learning and hopes and dreams. They can also use blank paper to create books, any size and shape.
- Art Supplies to create masterpieces of their own (paint, mold, draw, build).Give children the freedom to create and explore with different mediums and free reign with color and style.
- Card board boxes that can be turned into anything they can imagine, vehicles, buildings, puppet stages or costumes just to name a few!
- Seeing common everyday objects as the building blocks of something new or props in imaginative play. Another way to use common objects is to use regular household items and have children turn them into puppets and create their own puppet show.
- Tell stories, no book required, one person can start the story giving just a few details, and then the next person can continue telling the story adding in as many details as possible. This can be done with several people or just two. This could be a great way to fill time while sitting in traffic.
Allowing children time and space to flex their imaginative and innovative muscles can open up a whole new world of learning and opportunities to them!
Other resources about imagination and child development [Click Red Links]:
10 Easy Ways to Fire Your Child’s Imagination – Parenting Magazine
The Power of Magical Thinking – Wall Street Journal
The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development – Psychology Today
Written by Rachel Langston
Do you have questions about developing your child’s imagination? Please leave your questions in the comment section below.