An interesting article from kidshealth.org caught my attention. It talks about play with imagination and how it inspires and aids in a child’s development.
Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability to form new images and sensations that are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses.
Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process.
The preschool age is said to be the time for the most imaginative theatre. These are the so-called “magic years” — when a child expresses some grand antics brought about by wild imagination.
The following explains why imagination is important and what we can do to nourish it in our children.
The World from A Child’s Perspective
A child can’t grasp everything that’s around them. As a result, they “fill in the blanks” and often make up their own sometimes magical explanations for how things work.
This stage of growth and development, which peaks during the preschool years, was dubbed “the magic years” by child development expert Selma Fraiberg, PhD, in 1959 when she wrote a book of the same name.
Self-control is a tough skill to learn, and pretend play helps kids practice it as well as play out the frustration it creates.
How to Encourage Imaginative Play
Imagination may be the product of a child’s mind. Parents are advised to join. Here are some ways to encourage your child’s world of imagination:
- Go along with it. When young ones leap through the air and tell you they’re flying, don’t tell them they’re only jumping. Instead, feed the fantasy: start flying with them.
- Choose old-fashioned toys. Use toys that require creativity and therefore spur imagination.
- Limit electronic toys.Toys that direct the play; instead of the child dampens creativity and imagination.
- Read to your child. Helping the child understand and develop connectivity and integration of ideas. Stimulate your child’s imagination by asking questions related to your story books.
- Schedule downtime. Have your child a time to play alone. This will make them feel comfortable as well as develop creativity.
- Limit screen time. Limit television viewing to 2 hours per day.
When the Magic Theatre Ends
A time will come when the fantasy and magical stories won’t be working any more. But it’s a sign that your child’s brain is starting to mature and integrate concepts as it should. This bitter-sweet moment occurs during school age.
This is also a time when you will be explaining things in a realistic manner.
And as your child grows, their imagination and creativity will translate into art, music, creative writing, and help with critical thinking.
Play and imagination are important components that help in the development and structuring of a child’s creativity, analytic problem-solving, and decision-making. These tools will hone the children into becoming the adults they will be in the future.
You can read the original article here.
What are your child’s imaginative plays? How do you encourage imaginative play at your home?