There are so many opportunities for children in our modern world. There is one opportunity that may have been around since the beginning of time that we must keep alive. Children need the freedom, space and even excuse to imagine. These are moments without boundaries, and it is fun to watch or experience with them. What is around the next corner? Will it be a unicorn come to save the day or a rocket with technology and capabilities never discovered before?
This seemingly insignificant activity has far-reaching benefits.
- Problem-solving skills
- Healthy recognition of one's own emotions
- Developing empathy
- Practicing co-operation
- Emotional regulation
- Foster critical thinking
- Process feelings
- Promote social traits
- Decreased negative emotional emphasis
- Ability to work through social situations
- Emotional connection and understanding
- Flexible thinking
- Reading aloud
- Taking walks
- Safe art supplies
- Dress up clothes
- Age-appropriate musical instruments
- Provide simple choices with things like clothes, places to sit, preference of color
- Allow a little messiness.
- Family playtime
- Understand pertinent stages of development so that expectations aren't too high or low
- Remember it's all about fun!
- Be noisy
- Fuel the fire with pre-questions, such as, "How do you think this will feel?"
Some children can really get immersed in their imaginative world. When imaginative play lasts over a long time, even into adolescence, the analytical details become a deeper part of the experience for these fantastic children with a very bright future.
Imagination comes naturally to most children, and all children will flourish with nurturing in this unforgettable area of growth and exploration. Growing up is full of so much joy!