This is a guest post….
In the modern day it’s easy for kids to become glued to their videogames, cartoons or phones – and this can leave little space for them to truly use their imaginations. Creativity is something that needs encouragement and nurturing. Imagination is perhaps the most valuable thing your child has, it lets them imagine a better future themselves, see things from other perspectives, and experience the sheer joy of creating something original. Here are a few things you can do to give your child a chance to develop their imagination.
Keeping a diary
The simple act of keeping a diary can be a huge boost to your kid’s imagination. You might not think it requires that much imagination to write down things that really happened, but a diary doesn’t
have to a simple list of events. It’s a great place to do drawings, poems, write made up stories, and just exercise all those creative muscles in a safe place.
Themed days out
A great way to feed your child’s imagination is to plan a day out together. While a family trip on its own is going to provide all kinds of sights and experiences that will inspire your children for years,
these trips are also a great opportunity to kick off activities at home. For instance, if you’ve been reading the Harry Potter books (and reading is still the best fuel for children’s imaginations) why not
take a family outing to the studio tour? Then from that you can launch a hundred other activities. You can write an admissions letter for Hogwarts, plan out a magic school curriculum with potions
(cooking) and spells (writing poems), and maybe even try and put together your own rules for Quidditch!
The days when videogames were seen as a bad thing are long gone, and those of us who grew up with heroes made of pixels are no worse off. Now let’s be clear, hours sitting in front of a mindless
racing game isn’t necessarily going to inspire, but plenty of games now offer far more in the way of creativity. Nintendo’s latest, Super Mario Maker, equips kids with a fully functional level editor for
them to create their own obstacle courses. Minecraft is similar to a giant virtual Lego set, where people have been able to build everything from a life sized Taj Mahal to a fully functioning computer. Once your kids get the hang of “Command blocks” they’ll even begin to learn coding!
It’s possible your child already has an imaginary friend. This will explain a lot of you’ve been wondering why your child’s best friend is invisible. Of course, having an imaginary friend is already a
good sign of an active imagination, but it also opens the doors for all kinds of fun activities. Ask them to draw a picture of their imaginary friend, or what their house looks like. Maybe their friend can go on holiday and they can write them a letter? Ask them questions, get your child to fill in the details and think about who this imaginary person is. It’ll open up all kinds of opportunities.
Of course, while technology can be a huge boost to creativity and imagination, it can also be a good idea to see what happens when everything is turned off. Have one day a week where phones, tablet,
TV and games consoles are all switched off, and you can all see what you can do with paints, felt tips, building blogs or some old cardboard tubes and sticky tape.