Ten Ways To Encourage Your Child’s Imagination

woman in white shirt and blue denim shorts lying on bed

How often do you hear your child say, “I’m bored”? If you want to encourage your child’s imagination then these ten tips are for you!


by Andrea Smith | Andrea Smith is a mother of two living in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She is an avid blogger on her site The Write Gurl, and finds joy in knitting and drinking wine. Follow Andrea on Twitter @JeopardyQueen.

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“Children see magic because they look for it.”

Christopher Moore

Raise your hand if your child loves good, old-fashioned tag or fort-building. It is quite common for parents to forget the fun that can be had by simple uses of imagination. I know it’s easy to use the screen to entertain them, but if given the opportunity, a child will pay no mind to it, and proceed to pull out other games to play instead.

Getting your child to use their imagination is tricky, but not complicated to make happen. So grab a notepad, and let’s check out ten ways to encourage your child’s imagination.

crop group of children making drawings
Photo by Vanessa Loring on Pexels.com

1. Help a Child’s Imagination By Reading or Telling Stories

Read to your aspiring bookworm. This small peaceful act fosters their budding imagination. Read together. Keep track of your reading pile, and challenge each other. You can even re-read their favorite books many times.

Storytelling is tied to family-bonding, improves vocabulary, and encourages make-believe. To help your child engage with reading, use a kid-approved story stick, as it remains a popular tradition. All you have to do is gather in a circle, and whoever holds the stick, tells a story. Your job is to prompt them with a setting, theme, or conflict.

2. Spark Their Mind With Unstructured Play

Unstructured play does not include a screen. Try to not intervene or plan their unstructured play. When you see your child struggle, allow them the chance to solve any issue, themselves. They must create their own activities. Unstructured play can include exercise or active play-based games.

3. Invite them to Model Creativity- Science Projects/ Activities

With your supervision, science projects are another bridge to creativity.  And projects tailored to your child’s interest, can boost their growing imagination. Because the field of science is so vast, it will fuel their curiosities. They will embrace making planning decisions, and performing experiments. You may even see your child get lost in the fun.

4. Art Supplies Are Limitless Ways To Encourage A Child’s Imagination

Let’s focus on activities that are fun and open-ended, easy and popular. One idea is salt painting. You use household ingredients glue, salt, and food coloring as part of your painter’s toolkit.  Another idea is back and forth drawing–you draw a circle, then pass to your child so they can add something to the drawing. Then they pass it back to you, and so on. This game is a must for any child needing to have their imagination engaged.

5. Knitting  To Build Math Skills

This may not be an obvious choice, but knitting works to better a child’s mental state. It has been linked to providing a sense of calm and happiness. Remember, knitting involves sharp objects, so age 5 is when they should start learning this skill.

6. Listening to Music or Singing Gives Them Life

Listening to music accounts for brain stimulation. Many studies show that infants and fetuses who listen to music, maintain their well-being. It makes them calm. For example, listening or singing increases child development, and decreases the chances for mood disorders.

7 .Commit to  Show Your Playful Side

All any child wants is for their parent to play with them. You see, being a playful parent means being present. As parents, our normal habits do not include playing. But if your child wants you to play, that’s a clear sign they are ready to engage their imagination. So before you turn them down, remember to make a connection with them that only enhances their imagination skills.

8.The Importance of Going  Outdoors

It’s a fact, being outdoors activates your senses. You hear the birds chirping, you smell the flowers, and you hear the wind. Nature allows anyone the ability to feel welcome, producing a happier, more attentive, and less anxious offspring. You don’t have to venture far to see nature. Just spend some time in your backyard with them, or travel further to a local hiking trail or lake.

9.The Benefit of Playing Dress-up

The simple benefit of playing dress-up breeds creativity, and the possibilities are endless. Pretend play store, superhero handcuffs, doctor, camping, or tea party–all of these are great ways to induce a wild imagination in your child. Try using old clothes, hats, and old Halloween costumes. No need to shell out cash for new stuff.

10. Asking Questions is A Way to Improve Kids’ Memory

If you never ask your child questions, how will you get to know them? Here are some questions for interesting conversations:

Toddler to preschool

  • What sounds do you like?
  • If your stuffed animal could talk what would it say?
  • Who is your favorite storybook character?

Kindergarten

  • Did you smile or laugh today?
  • What’s your superhero/superheroine name?
  • What makes someone smart?

Older kids

  • What makes you feel loved?
  • If you wrote a book what would it be about?
  • What are three things you want to do this summer?

The Takeaway

All a child need’s to engage their imagination, is you. So take the opportunity to create new stories, and adventures. And remember, playing pretend benefits their development. 

Do you have any incredible ideas to add to the conversation? Let me know in the Forum.


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