The Power of Imagination

The Power of Imagination

THE POWER OF IMAGINATION: HOW TO ENCOURAGE IMAGINATIVE PLAY IN YOUR TODDLER

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
– Peter Pan

Parents know the importance of the imagination as it takes us back to our own childhood. A simpler time, when worries were non-existent and our worlds however small, could seem so big. These days, it’s easy to push the imagination aside and focus on a screen or a device. The tricky part of all of it, is time. Parents just don’t seem to have it and there’s no magical device that creates more of it. Society doesn’t seem to have a place for creativity that isn’t tied to productivity. It isn’t tangible. As children reach school age, schools become strict on a detailed syllabus that often excludes imagination development. Of course, imagination is something we should all favour.

“Child-development experts unanimously celebrate the benefits of a healthy imagination. A child with a good imagination is happier, more alert, better able to cope with life’s twists and turns, and more likely to grow into a well-adjusted, secure adult.”

So how do we inspire this power in our children? Start with these basics –

1. IMAGINATION TUB

Find an old tub and put paint, pencils, buttons, sticks, boxes, glue, paper – anything that you can find around your house. This will be your kids ‘go to’ box to create whatever they want to create. They can use their creative freedom to imagine and make whatever they like.

This tub (or another one) could have toys that allow children to use their imagination when playing such as lego, plain blocks, cars or trains and train tracks.

2. ONCE UPON A TIME

This is all about the one-on-one connection, the parent and the child, with a story imprinted in their mind. Storytelling may well be the cornerstone of imaginative development, and doing it well and in a variety of ways is something you can do almost every day — even if it is only in brief moments.

3. AU NATURAL

Keeping kids in touch with objects from nature inherently inspires their imagination. So does play with open-ended toys — such as blocks or sand — that have endless possibilities.

4. DE-CLUTTER

Parents should keep young children in particular from being overloaded by images from the media, whether it’s television, movies, or computers. We have to leave kids with enough of an inner space to create their own pictures, their own vision so that they can become creators and innovators.

ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP A VIVID IMAGINATION

Blow bubbles

There is nothing more magical than a sky filled with bubbles and little children running around after them. Bubbles themselves create imagination for our children and get them outside to be in the fresh air and playing.

Nature story

Go for a walk with you little one in tow. Try to collect at least 10 nature objects, no more than one of each thing (only one leaf, and so forth). When you get home, let your little one glue their items to paper to make their own little masterpiece.

Box it up

Kids love cardboard boxes and using their imagination to create a space of their own is such a great opportunity for a developing imagination. Get your hands on a large box from a moving supply store or similar. Set the box up in an open area in your house and let your child decide what he wants it to be — a house, a cave, a rocket ship. Provide markers or chalk for decoration, let them invite their toys along, and help your child cut windows or other shapes.

Rainbow walking

Such a great activity for a toddler! Pop a variety of paint colours into an old tin and let your little one put their feet in for a fun sensory experience. Roll out some butcher’s paper and let them make their own little rainbow artwork!

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