Imagination – and how to foster it in your kids

imagination

Imagination and why you should encourage your kids to use it!

According to Mara Betsch, writer for TLC.com, here are 5 Reasons You Should Encourage Kids to Use Their Imaginations

  1. It helps them understand the past
  2. …And think about the future
  3. It teaches them to cope with emotions
  4. Role-playing games build problem-solving skills
  5. It helps their creativity skyrocket

To give you some ideas, Gillian Kriter has made a list of ways that you can foster your kids imagination!

Take it away Gillian!

Quite often during playtime my 3 year old daughter invites me to be Shimmer and she gets to be Shine, two big eyed child genies from a popular television show about casting magic spells. At first I was skeptical of the quality educational content in this show, which accounts for a good portion of her daily recommended screen time (less than 1 hour daily for children under 4, according to the Canadian Pediatric Society). But I remind myself the magical years have a timestamp, and instead choose to open my mind to fairytale and make believe having an important place in children’s early learning and development.

Read on for some fairy tale facts and fun ideas to use next time Ariel The Little Mermaid or one of her mythical besties joins your playtime.

Unicorns

Aside from the obvious trademark horn, did you know unicorns date back as far as 5 BC, and have the power to render poisoned water drinkable, heal sickness, and have magical powers? They are also ideal transportation for mythical princesses. Unicorns are considered unique, and often linked to creative arts. You can draw, paint, sticker, sparkle or bedazzle your own picture, book, or horn (just fold cardstock into a cone, tape, and add an elastic chinstrap). Or decorate a shirt with iron on patches, fabric paint, and bedazzlers! Next level idea – maybe it is time for your child’s first horseback riding experience? J

Wizards

Can use magical powers and spells to help hurt or harm others. Try reading to your child (or encouraging older children to read on their own) from the Harry Potter series, and use the opportunity to talk about good and bad magic, and what “kind” of wizard spells your child would cast. Take a nature walk and find the perfect stick to create your own wand.

Dragons

This popular mythalogical creature from medevil times breathes fire and ice, and often guards castles or great treasures. Try reading The Paperbag Princess (such a classic) or the Eragon series, part of which was written when author Christopher Paolini was just 17 years old. Create a special quest through your house and hide treasure for your little adventurers to discover. You could also build a fort or castle out of sheets, couch cushions, or giant cardboard boxes from those new appliances you totally deserve.

Elves

A type of human-shaped supernatural being in mythology and folklore. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves generally seem to have been thought of as beings with magical powers. Help the Elf on the Shelf get up to nocturnal mischief at Christmas time.

Fairies

A type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, is a form of spirit, often described as supernatural, or preternatural. Fairies have made their way into lots of pop culture examples including Tinkerbell, The Hobbit, Cinderella, and more. Help your child build a fairy garden (they like shiny and interesting rocks), or put a candle and a fairy toy in a glass jar with an electric tealight as a nightlight for bedtime.

I bet you have more ideas! Please share below!

By Gillian Kriter