Some old-fashioned parents may dismiss imagination as daydreaming that wastes time. However, child psychologists emphasize the role imagination plays in cognitive development. Being able to imagine new things is crucial for your child’s ability to communicate, learn, socialize, and otherwise have a healthy childhood.
Not to mention, imagination allows children to explore and learn new things about their surroundings. Some kids love to play pretend games on their own. But it’s best if parents occasionally join in and make it a fun and educational experience. Here are several ideas for playtime activities that unleash your child’s wild imagination:
Role playing is one of the best activities for allowing kids to be imaginative. Some of us have role played by ourselves as children. We even continue the activity into adulthood, often roleplaying in video games and such. Parents can certainly join in roleplaying activities with children and motivate them to continue.
Role playing is also a great activity to get shy or sedentary kids into engaging in a mentally and physically stimulating activity. Role play has no boundaries. You can come up with things on the spot. Also, kids can don homemade costumes, such as blankets, sheets, or parents’ clothes. Buy a hooded towel baby shaped like animals so that the small ones can join their older siblings in role-play games.
Make Up New Endings to Stories
Don’t have a lot of time to role play with kids? You can transform the storytelling time into an imaginative experience. Most parents read to their children before they go to sleep. It’s a recommended activity for getting children to learn new words and develop literary comprehension. It can also be a time to get children to imagine a little.
Once you have finished a story, try a fun game where you make up new endings to stories with the kids. It’s particularly fun if a kid doesn’t like the ending. Speculating the ending before you get to the end of the story is a great way to let a child’s imagination go into overdrive.
Go Outside and Tell Each Other Stories
Alternatively to reading a book, you can get your children away from smartphone screens without making a big fuss by going outside to tell stories. Like in “Alice in Wonderland,” make the outdoors into a giant theatre the children can engage with in an imaginative manner.
Ask them to come up with stories about the things they see, such as a street, mountains far ahead, and animals in the yard, and so on. Not only does this boost imagination potential, it would engage their developing cognitive faculties as well.
Let Them Paint outside the Lines
Creating art is a time-honored tradition where imagination is allowed to roam free of the usual constraints. Small children often engage in art projects. However, most of these projects done at school or home have strict rules. Kids have to paint inside the lines, so to speak.
For a change, allow your children to paint outside the lines. Get them involved in art projects that don’t require them to follow a set of rules. Let their own imagination be the sole guide and witness the progress.
Parents only need a bit of time to engage with kids in activities listed above. Imagination is a crucial ability kids have to learn and process the world around them. Don’t let it go to waste. Try any of the above to allow your child’s imagination skills grow.