5 Ways To Ignite Your Child's Imagination

By Guest Contributor Brooke Cade

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

Children are unique. Each come with their own personalities, talents, strengths, dislikes, and quirks. No matter the differences, one thing all children have in common is their vast imagination. New worlds burst from them and enhance the world and all it’s wonder around them.

However, some children struggle to let their imaginations come to life. Creativity can get stuck, even for children, under hectic schedules, always being plugged in, and family stress. Encourage them to reconnect and boost their imagination with these 5 activities:

1. Read Together

There is nothing like a great book to ignite the imagination. While you read together, children will have to envision the scene, what the characters look like, and every other aspect of the story. While reading, ask your child what they think will happen next. Another fun way to ignite your child’s imagination is to make up a story together. Start a story and allow them to provide the character names, setting, conflicts, and the resolutions. Not only does this boost their imaginations, but allows them to feel more connected with the story and strengthen your relationship.

2. Create A Scene: What Would You Do If?

Ask your children questions to various scenarios to ignite their imagination. One question you could ask is: What if all mountains were made of marshmallows? Follow up with the question of what they’d do in the circumstance. Use this time to let them share their ideas and create silly stories. It won’t be long before your children start this game and ask each other what they’d do if.

3. Bring In The Props

Props and various items around your home can be excellent resources to inspire creativity. Grab a hairbrush, guitar case, pillows, or shoebox and see what they come up with. Perhaps the guitar case is a boat and their sailing down the Nile, or the pillows are protecting them from the hot lava that’s disguised as carpet, or the hairbrush is a mic and they’re singing to a large audience. The possibilities are endless and it will be fun to see what they come up with.

4. Explore The Great Outdoors

Give them time outside to explore and connect with nature. There are so many wonderful and fascinating things outside. Lift up a rock and look at the bug world beneath it or explore your backyard for trolls and fairies. 

5. Get Messy

This doesn’t mean allowing your children to trash the house or squeeze out all your shampoo in the bathtub. Instead, give them finger paint or sidewalk chalk and let them create a work of art on the cement, make mud pies, or play tag with silly string. As they play and discover the world around them, they’ll be using all of their 5 senses. Plus, sometimes the cleanup is worth the learning experience. 

In an age of technology, it’s easy to put children in front of the TV or iPads, but they miss out on the magical parts of the world around them. Help your children use their imaginations and foster an environment where they can and are encouraged to think outside the box.

Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who works with PicJoy. When Brooke isn’t writing, she enjoys photography, technology, and learning more about child development and fostering imagination.