Top Tips: Encourage Your Child’s Imagination
July 18, 2013
Imagination is a powerful tool that is fundamental to a child’s social, emotional and language development. Imagination allows a child to escape from reality but through role play they also begin to understand it. There are many ways to encourage imagination from suggesting role-play games to nurturing a love of reading and at Fundamentally Children we have approved a range of toys and apps that encourage imagination.
“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination”. Mark Twain
Here are our tips on how to encourage a child imagination:
- Don’t criticise their ideas/actions- even if you think their ideas are crazy and unrealistic, just let them get on with it as you could knock their creativity and self-esteem.
- Let them make their own choices- give them opportunities to make their own choices, what t shirt/ hair clip, pair of socks do they want to wear.
- Encourage them to solve their own problems- this will develop problem-solving skills and develop their sense of curiosity and achievement in succeeding.
- Encourage them to read books– fantastical books stimulate a child’s imagination.
- Expose your child to a variety of environments; such as woods, parks, museums, zoos, lakes that will broaden their knowledge and allow them to explore and create. Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your child to release their imagination.
- Provide materials and a variety of resources to stimulate imagination– pots pans, cardboard boxes, blankets, string and wooden spoons and their imagination will decide what they do with it.
- Let your child play alone– so you do not interfere with their imagination and do not limit their creativity.
- Let them play without toys as they will still play but find alternative props to play with, such as sticks
- Play with your child- do not dictate play but sit with your child and create a story together. Play make believe games but let your child decide what character your going to be.
- Encourage your child- positive comments, such as “that den looks great, it really does look like a spaceship” will increase your child’s imagination. Negative comments will belittle your child “why cant you build a den on your own, its not difficult” and hinder their creativity.
“To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything”. Anatole France.
The Good Toy Guide and Good App Guide include a wide range of toys and apps that encourage creative and imaginative play.
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer