Growing your Child’s Imagination
The days of childhood when you were free to let your imagination take you wherever it may lead were special times in our lives. Many children never get to experience this freedom because today every minute of their lives is organized, categorized, and filled with activities that have been structured for them. Children spend more time playing with video games than they do playing with a cardboard box. That box can become anything in their mind, castles, hospitals, and houses. Imagination is what it takes to design new things and to make the world a better place. You can help your child grow their imagination and let their inner creativity surface with a few simple activities.
Tell your child stories. Do not get down a book, sit down with the child and ask them what they would like to hear a story about. Start to make up the story and ask the child for help with what the characters look like and what they do in the story. It does not matter if your tale is silly or does not make sense because it is all imaginary, and it does not even have to have a moral.
Go by your local appliance store and bring home a big cardboard box. Set the big box in an open area inside the house and allow your child to determine what the box will become. It may be a castle where the beautiful princess lives and then again it could be a cave that the child must use as a place to hide from enemies. Let them decorate their box and help them make window cutouts or other things that turn their big empty box into something they imagine it to be.
Have a puppet show, but instead of puppets use ordinary household items. Collect things from your home like strainers, flashlights, paper cups, and anything you can think of. Take the items and allow the child to use them as their puppets. They have to imagine the items as being something other than what they are.
Paint with your child and draw with them. Get blank sheets of paper and allow your child to draw and paint anything they wish. If you also get a blank piece of paper and draw alongside of them you will find that not only will they be using their imaginations to create new images, but you will be spending quality bonding time with them.
Visit an art museum with your child. You can also use a picture book that has pictures of places and people in them. Make up stories about what is happening in the picture that you see. You and your child can make up the story together or you can each say what you think is happening or should happen next. This can also be done by sitting on a park bench and watching the people pass by. As you watch the people play the game of trying to guess what they do for a living or where they are going today.