Encourage Your Child’s Imagination With these 8 Steps
Children have abundant imaginations, but sometimes they need a little encouragement to use it. Here are eight ways to help encourage the imagination of the children in your life.
Providing Tools to Increase Your Child’s Imagination is Key
1. What IF Questions
Use “what if” questions. This works well with both younger and older children. For younger children, you could ask questions such as, “What if a lion squeaked instead of roared?” or “What if people lived in the water?” Older children might have fun answering questions like, “What if gravity pulled us away from the Earth instead of toward it?” or “What if Columbus sailed right past America?”
2. Read With Your Children
Encourage imagination when reading with children. Ask younger children what is happening in the pictures, or have them make up a new story based on one of the illustrations. Children can also be encouraged to think up a new ending to a story or to tell the story of a minor character.
Storytelling can bring out the imagination and some acting talent! Have kids act out a story you tell, or reverse it and have kids act and you or other children make up a story to tell from that “scene.” Also, encourage kids to tell stories out loud to you or a group of children. A fun idea is to have each child tell part of a story and then move on to the next child or to have each child do one sentence based on what was said by the children before him or her.
Another way to incorporate storytelling is by providing toys such as the DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free by PLAYMOBIL. Children can act out stories by using the characters from the DreamWorks series, “Spirit Riding Free”. In Lucky’s Happy Home, children can act out the storyline from Spirit Riding Free, or better yet, act out their very own story! The secret hideout inside the home can make some really great stories for your child to act out.
The Lucky’s Happy Home includes Lucky and her horse, Spirit along with her Aunt Cora. The home comes equipped with all the furniture needed along with the accessories for your child to be able to make their own storyline!
4. Music and Art
Music and art create many opportunities for imagination. Children can create paintings, sculptures, craft items and drawings with art materials. Music can be used to help tell a story, or kids can use simple instruments to create their own music.
5. Pretend Play
Encourage pretend play, especially in younger children. Children can become monsters, superheroes, doctors or grocery shoppers…the list is endless. This helps children act out roles (mother, father, teacher, etc.) and work through difficult or confusing situations. And pretend play isn’t just for little kids. Older students benefit from role-playing to help them deal with an uncomfortable situation: how to say no to strangers, how to resolve a conflict with a friend, etc.
6. Limit Electronic Usage
Limit the use of TV, movies, computers and video games. These are all great tools when used in moderation, but too much can dull a child’s natural imagination. Kids who can only act out scenes from their favorite shows and movies or who use up all their free time with electronic gear probably need more “unplugged” time.
7. Provide Props
These can be obvious, such as a crown or sword, food, a cape, a microphone, or plastic flowers. Not so obvious choices could include boxes, cardboard rolls, fabric swatches, yarn, plain clothing, or containers. Have children create their own props from these items and glue, glitter, paint, etc.
The Air Storm Z Tek Bow is one of boys favorite props to use. The Air-Storm Z-Tek Bow is the perfect gift for any adventurous boy or girl. Whether defending the castle from the attacking enemy or challenging a friend in some target practice, this bow is not only fun but safe as well. Each bow comes equipped with storage ammo clips right on the bow making it quick and simple to store and keep up with the arrows.
Speaking of arrows, each bow comes with two Zonic screaming whistle arrows and one Zartz Suction Cup arrow. With a launching capability of over 100 feet, this bow is sure to give hours of fun and adventure outdoors yet because of its foam arrows, safe to use indoors on those rainy days as well.
8. Math and Science
Imagination isn’t just for reading and play acting. Math and science can also encourage imagination. Answering curious questions by first coming up with a guess (hypothesis) and then testing the hypothesis encourages children to think and imagine what the outcome will be and then see the results. Imaginative math can be simple (guessing how many blocks will fill a container) or complex (figuring out how many “feet” long the hallway, classroom or front walk is).
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