Imagination is a wonderful thing, but make-believe is more than just about playtime. Sure, having a vivid imagination can often lead to artistic creativity and daydreaming, but having an active imagination can also be beneficial for developing minds in other ways. Imagination, or the ability to create and imagine things mentally, allows for conceptual problem-solving, abstract concepts, and other types of intangible thought to thrive. Kids with active imaginations are better at solving complex problems, learning new things, and embracing abstract ideas.
One of the most important thing a parent or guardian can do is to encourage this kind of thought and to continually inspire their children to think big and be creative.
Tell a Story
Storytelling has inspired mankind’s imaginations for millennia and it continues to do so every day. As much as storytelling lends itself to movies, tv and video games, try simply telling your children bedtime stories without any other kind of medium – that way, kids can see the characters and the setting in their head. Ask them how they picture things or to describe what they see in their mind’s eye to encourage them to think actively. Feel free to use a book for inspiration, but making up a story on your own can be fun, too!
Making and looking at art is another way to help get your child’s creativity flowing. Make holiday-themed decorations or encourage them to adorn their bedrooms with creations of their own. Ask them to make their favorite characters or write a story that they can share with you later. Experimenting with different mediums can be an adventure as well. Purchase an art kit or have fun at your local craft store by just picking out random items and seeing what your child thinks of doing with them on their own.
The Great Outdoors
Nature has proven to be inspirational for artists, writers, and visionaries for centuries. Having a personal relationship with nature is good for your health, but it can also help keep kids inspired and amused with wonder. Go for hikes, long walks, and visit national parks if you can. Try to find local areas that house different types of landscapes or features like large forests, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and more.
Expand Their Horizons
It can be easy for parents and children to get trapped in their own little worlds, thinking of little else but home, work, and school on a day to day basis. Try and teach your kids about other cultures, travel to different places, and expose them to history, myths and legends, different cuisines, and other fun things. Exploration has inspired humans since the dawn of time, so let your kids discover the world around them, too. Encourage them to keep learning and experience new things, even when they are no longer kids but only kids at heart.