Thursday 8 December 2022

How to Help Boost Your Child's Imagination

**Collaborative Post**

AD: Creative thinking is a skill that’s overlooked, especially in children. It's a core skill and is fundamental to many others such as problem solving and critical thinking. It’s the ability to think innovatively and create new ideas and whilst some children seem to have huge imaginations, others can really struggle. There has been a push to give art a more prominent position in the curriculum (and rightly so in my personal option). It’s worked as it’s now considered in the same regard as STEM subjects. The acronym that stood for science, technology, engineering, and maths has now been adapted to form STEAM and include Art. 

As I mentioned above, for some children imaginative play, creative play etc come naturally. They can pick up a toy or an object and suddenly it becomes something else, transported to a world where their imagination is the story teller. Yet other children can really struggle and this can lead to issues such as struggling with individual play and becoming bored quickly. We’ve teamed up with an independent school in Surrey to share ways in which you can boost your child’s creativity and imagination below.

Creative Expression

There are a number of activities that allow children to express themselves creatively and explore that side of themselves. Activities such as painting, colouring, music, crafting, dressing up and writing. As they are open ended, children have the opportunity to create ideas of their own and have free reign. They allow them to explore new ideas that they may be thinking of and bring them to real life. 

Considering New Perspectives

Another way is to help your child to develop an open mind and consider new perspectives. By changing the way that they look at things and thinking differently, they will be able to come up with more ideas and those that are potentially a lot better. It’s something that can quite simply be done by questioning the way that they think and encouraging your child to consider differing points of view. Ask them questions about things and don't be afraid to delve deeper with their answers either. 

Read Together 

Reading gives children awareness of the world around them and more importantly exercises core thinking skills such as creativity. When we read, we’re not given much other than just words and we must build a picture in our heads. We’re also left to formulate our own theories and ideas as to what will happen next. Books can transport us to many different places and actually those places, characters and stories can stay in children's minds and be carried forward into other games and scenarios too!

Let Them Work Things Out

As well as teaching your child, it’s also important to create space for them to take charge of their own learning and development. Don't be so quick to jump in and solve every issue they face (as long as they are safe and cannot be harmed or harm others of course). Instead keep a safe distance back and allow them to try and work things through first, you can always step in at any point if you feel you need to, but try to give them a chance to problem solve first. Kids are actually pretty good at solving issues and you might be surprised. They will come across new things and use their creativity to learn about them and formulate their own ideas.

Reduce Screen Time

Now that they have the internet and gadgets galore, children are less likely to spend time outdoors or with toys that create imaginative play opportunities. Their free time is spent behind screens which doesn’t do much for their development and can really hinder their creative play as they are watching everything through a screen rather than seeing, touching and experiencing things for themselves. Reducing screen time and instead replacing it with unstructured play activities can help them in building these core skills. It doesn't mean they can't have screen time at all, its just about finding the right balance. 

There are of course many more ways that you can practise creative thinking with your child. You can explore new places and try new things, or even just hop outdoors to stimulate their creativity and imagination. For more handy parenting tips and resources, take a look at my other blog posts.


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