Increasing imagination in a child is one of the most important things a parent can ever do. A child with an active imagination will have a better vocabulary, greater problem solving skills and more emotional control as adult. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (Education Pendulums: Thinkers or Test Takers) schools in the United States now place a greater emphasize on standardized tests and curriculum thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2001. Teachers have little time to foster imagination instead they spent most of their time working on core curriculum.
Playing is increasing imagination!
“You see things; and you say Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say Why not?”
- George Bernard Shaw
Increasing Imagination Begins At Home
Imagination and creativity are something that parents can easily work on with children. Even if you have several children you can work towards making their lives richer through creativity. Here are some easy things parents can do to help.
Dinosaurs are creative with sunglasses!
1. Think outside the box – When I get my three-year-old son up in the morning one of the first questions I ask is, “What do you want to do today?” Some morning he will answer, “I don’t know?” Knowing that I want to continue working on increasing imagination I might say, “How about we put on our wings today and fly around the house until we find the secret cave where Aladdin keeps his treasures?”
2. Story time is fun time – Story time has become a ritual in my house. The hardest part about reading stories for me is sticking to the book. I will be reading my son a story and ad-lib different things as I am reading. I will ask questions like, “What do you think is going to happen?” or “Tell me what you would do?”
3. Think differently – As adults we have to stop thinking that imagination is only used for music or arts. We use imagination everyday of our lives. A good example of this is when we lose an item, such as lost car keys (I recently did this….see Attitude Adjustment Needed) I started asking myself could my son have moved them? Could I have dropped them outside? Did I place them in the laundry basket by mistake?
4. Don’t give them everything – We always want our children to have the best but sometimes the act of not having something helps a child work on increasing imagination. Upon occasion, I will tell my son I can’t find something or we don’t have it to see what he will do. I am always amazed at the solutions he will give me. Recently he wanted a toy airplane of his and I told him I couldn’t find it. He finally gave up looking for it and built his own plane out of MegaBlocks.
5. Explore everything - Increasing imagination of a child can happen anywhere, including outdoors. On more than one occasion I have buried pennies and nickles in the backyard. When we get near the buried coins I will say (in my best pirate voice), “Do you think pirates used to live here?” Xan’s eyes get real big with excitement and he will answer, “YEAH!!! Pirates live here! They hide stuff! They hide treasure!” I will then start asking him question about what does he think we need to do to find the treasure? Where could it be buried? We then will go on a pirate adventure.
6. Singing imagination - Now that my son is old enough to talk he has opinion’s on everything and music is no different. I like to sing to my son but I won’t just sing traditional songs. I have songs for getting up, going to sleep, doing dishes, folding clothes etc. I make up the words as I go along. He now is to the point he will sing me songs that are totally made up just to show me he can.
Do you see the monster that wouldn’t let him eat?
If you are a parent you have to become flexible enough to not always be an adult. It’s okay to get dirty, explore and create things. The more you work on increasing imagination with a child the more likely a child’s boredom will be a thing of the past and they will explore the world with confidence.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
- Albert Einstein
Be sure to check out Andi-Roo at TheWorld4Realz who is writing about a month of controversy in the A to Z +1 August blogging challenge with me! I was a bit late posting but I have a 3-year-old and fatherhood comes first! Today is the letter “I” for Increasing Imagination.
No tags for this post.