Experts in child psychology agree that imagination has a big impact on the happiness and success of children. Children with good imaginations grow up to be happier, more resilient, and better adjusted adults. Most parents are aware that they should encourage their child’s imagination, but it can be hard to know exactly how to do this. Read our tips here for ways you can encourage your child’s imagination.
Give them free time
These days, children are often incredibly overscheduled. After music lessons, sports, and clubs, there is really no free time. However, in order for your child to use their imagination, they need some unstructured play time to let their mind run wild. Make sure your child isn’t overscheduled by committing at least one weekday to free time.
Limit TV time
It is common for children to spend hours in front of a screen a day, but this is detrimental to their imagination, and their general health and well-being. Limit the amount of time your child spends in front of the TV, and they will have to use their imagination to come up with different ways to entertain themselves. You could put a ban on TV during playdates, or only allow one show per day. With the new found time, your child will be able to exercise their imagination.
Read to them
Books can transport children to new places in their mind. Making a point to read to your child on a daily basis can help develop their imagination. Reading to your children has a whole host of other benefits as well, like bringing you closer together and improving their critical thinking and language skills, making it a worthwhile endeavor, even if you only devote a few minutes a day to it.
Create art together
No shocker here, but creative pursuits foster imagination in children. Whether it is painting, sculpting, crafting, building, or drawing, encourage your child by providing them with art supplies. Better yet, get creative with them! Just be sure to give your child free reign over their own creation to encourage imagination.
Play dress up
One of the best ways to encourage your child’s imagination is by letting them play a part. By providing your child with dress up clothes, they can create an entire character to play, letting them explore new possibilities. Make a dress up chest by heading to goodwill and picking up some wacky clothes for your child to play with.
Let them get messy
Of course, the majority of the time, you want your child to be as neat as possible. However, occasionally letting them let loose in the sand, water, or mud allows them freedom from restraint, which is great for the imagination. Do yourself a favor and set up a particular area, like the bath tub, for messy play, and let them at it!
At The Elks Place, our indoor play place is the perfect spot for encouraging your child’s imagination. Here, your child can play with elks, climb trees, and create a whole new world for themselves.