Imagination. It’s a quality that children are notorious for. As we grow up, often times our imagination skills grow weak, buried under growing responsibility and a desire to appear more like an adult. But a lack of imagination sometimes plagues younger kids as well. We can blame too much screen time or an ever growing world of technology to do all the imagining for them, but there are actually many ways to spark imagination and creativity in your child. There’s no need to feel helpless!
Here are some things that we like to to do:
Our son Will (4) likes to draw maps that lead to treasure. I help him follow and discover his own hidden treasure, but sometimes I make the map and surprise him!
Costumes of all kids!
Will has a huge bag of costumes ranging from dinosaur feet slippers to full costumes, Halloween-style. Most are purchased but some we made for him ourselves. My husband just finished making him a robotic suit of armor from cardboard boxes. When a child is wearing a costume, it’s hard for them NOT to play pretend!
When Will tells me it’s his stuffed animal’s birthday today, I ask him how he wants to celebrate. Balloons have been hanging up in our kitchen for a week for a double birthday party for his stuffed fox and giraffe, one pink and one red because I asked him what their favorite colors were.
Will has LEGOs, big blocks, tinker toys and more. It’s amazing to watch what he creates with things that link together.
Will doesn’t get too involved in coloring, but he likes to cut and paste (and draw robots!). He also likes manipulatives like Play-Doh. I like to encourage his artistic side by having him create homemade cards for family and friends for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other holiday I can think of. It’s a win for everyone!
Speaking of art, I found the idea of asking a child to paint their imagination super fun and creative! Read about it here!
One of the side benefits of helping your child be more creative is that YOU become more creative! No matter what you do for a living, your imagination is your friend and can help you solve problems in new and creative ways. A more creative child, a more creative you, a life filled with imagination!