Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

“Through movement, children learn about themselves and their world and develop the strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, posture, and healthy body weight needed to reach goals and fulfill their dreams.” – Kristina Orliczky. 

Kids engage in various types of play over their formative years. One type is sensory play—think of scented slime, bubbles, sand, paint, and lots of glorious mess. There is social play, which imitates rule-based scenarios with others, like playing house or restaurant. There is locomotive play or movement for the sake of moving. Tag, hide and seek, and tree climbing all fall in this camp.

Then there is imaginative play. Babies play imitation games as early as two months old, setting the foundation for imaginative play later. Imaginative play has many social and emotional benefits and does not even have to be expensive. Here are some ways you can provide fuel for your kid’s imagination.

Ways To Stretching Your Kid’s Imagination

As they say, there are no rules for creating a castle in the clouds. When you provide opportunities for your child to use his imagination, he explores interests he never thought he would enjoy. Here are seven ways to stretch your child’s imagination.

1. Have Your Child Act Out Entire Picture Books. One way to fuel your child’s imagination is to check a few picture books from the library and then act them out as you read them to him. This is primarily a neat idea if your child is a visual or kinesthetic learner. Look for picture books that teach math, reading, history, and science in fun ways. One good example of this book is Mona’s Mitten: A Story To Move To by Kristina Orliczky.  As this book moves, you will find physical activities going along with the story on each page. Through her work as a licensed physical therapist and a certified practitioner of the gentle, functional Feldenkrais method, the author wanted to use this story to encourage physical activity in many children who spend too much time sitting. They start reluctantly strapped to car seats, high chairs, and strollers. Later, they sit in front of the TV or PC or with bent necks texting on their cell phones. Children learn about themselves and their world through movement and develop the strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, posture, and healthy body weight needed to reach goals and fulfill their dreams. By adding exercises to the pages of her book, she wanted to inspire children to have fun stretching their muscles and imagination.

2. Ask Your Child To Write His Recipes. Fill a plastic bag with random ingredients, and then ask your child to make up his recipes based on the elements in the bag. After your child writes the recipes, you will prepare these for dinner. This activity helps your child develop creative ways to fix meals, and he learns about nutrition and proper food handling procedures.

3. Play Board Games Together. Board games teach your child problem-solving and analytical skills in a fun way. Purchase games such as Sorry, Clue, Monopoly, Pictionary, and Scrabble. Your kids will have fun for hours.

4. Give Your Child Unstructured Playtime. This is an excellent way to boost your child’s imagination. Provide him with non-battery-operated toys, everyday household objects, and old clothes so he can have a few hours of free creative playtime.

5. Put Him In An Extracurricular Activity. If your child’s school has a few extracurricular activities, encourage him to join at least one. Maybe he loves music, and he can join the school’s chorus. Or the school might have a club about content creation, and your child might be excited about doing this.

6. Have Storytelling Sessions. Kids love to hear and tell stories, and having storytelling sessions can boost your child’s imagination in exciting ways. Tell your kid stories about your childhood and teenage years. Let your child tell stories about school, his friends, and his favorite activities.

7. Bring Your Child To Free Kids’ Events. Another idea would be to bring your child to local free events. Many of these events offer activities centered around cultural enrichment, art, music, and life skills. Your child might be inspired to learn a new hobby because of what he experienced at the event.

Final Words

With these neat strategies, you can fuel your child’s imagination and inspire him to have a lifetime of learning. This could lead to him choosing a particular path in life as he reaches adulthood.

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