How to Facilitate Imaginative Play at Home and at School
Whether you’re a parent of one child or four, there’s no denying the importance of imagination early on in childhood development. It’s crucial for the development of other skills like creativity, ingenuity, and thinking outside the box.
Since nurturing creativity and imagination is so important in early childhood, the best place to start is at home. Keep reading to learn how you can help spark your child’s imagination right in your own home.
Plan Outdoor Activities
Nature is a source of creativity for children and adults alike. Planning nature walks, scavenger hunts, and even just taking time to sit outside and draw with your child can help nurture that creative spark. Preschoolers and daycare center age children alike will be able to let their creative juices flow in the great outdoors.
Create Stories Together
Reading stories from books can be a great way to spark imagination, but creating your own stories can add another level of creativity to the process. Not to mention, allowing your child to determine what happens in their own fairytales can help develop independence, as well.
Give Art a New Twist
Any type of artistic activity — drawing, painting, scrapbooking — can help nurture imagination. That’s why so many summer camps for young children and top notch day care centers focus heavily on arts and crafts. It’s a key part of childhood development. So how can you get outside the box with art activities at home? Here are two great ways to do just that:
- Potato Stamps: To make stamps, all you need is a potato, a cookie cutter, and some paint! First, cut your potato in half. Take your cookie cutter of choice (choose a fun shape!) to cut into the flesh side of the potato. Then carefully cut off the excess edges to make your stamp. Dip it in paint and stamp away!
- Non-Paintbrush Painting: All you need to do for this fun project is ditch the paintbrush! Use old toothbrushes, rubber pencil erasers, or any other household object you can find to paint with. You’re sure to get some fun patterns and shapes!
Make Room for Downtime
Constant stimulation might seem like the way to go for nurturing creativity, but the opposite is really true. Downtime is critical for helping that imaginative spark along — it’s one of the best ways to encourage children to use their imaginations to keep themselves occupied. That’s why the three-fourths of young children enrolled in preschools have nap time and free play time. So make sure every action- and craft-packed day has at least a little bit of time set aside for sitting down and relaxing.
Childhood development doesn’t happen overnight, and doing these activities once won’t spark a creative genius in your child. Instead, consistent nurturing over time will allow you to witness your child’s creative spark leap into an imaginative flame.