Some parents love to play. They’ll sit on the floor for hours playing make-believe with their kids. They’ll build Lego houses, set up tracks and spend all day deep in an imaginary world. Others don’t play. They just can’t do it. They’ll happily read, they’ll take their kids on days out, buy them cool toys, bake with them and do crafts, but they really struggle with play. That’s fine, it’s often a skill that gets left behind, and it can be hard to get back in touch with play.
But, it’s still important to encourage your child’s imagination. Imagination gives them freedom and adventure. It helps to develop their social and verbal skills. It will one day mean that they can sit at school and write wonderful stories. Having an active imagination gives your child creative freedom, it gives them a coping mechanism, a place to go when life is cruel to them, and it means that they are never alone, or lonely. Imagination is a wonderful thing for a child. That should grow and develop as they do. So, how can you encourage it without getting down on the floor and playing make-believe games yourself?
Buy the Right Toys
Some toys are just built to boost imagination. Tablets and other devices are great, and it’s only natural that children use them, but, try to stick to good old fashioned toys like Lego and wooden toy kitchens and blocks, which give your child the freedom to be creative and imaginative. Try to limit screen time, and give them what they need to enter their make-believe world.
Let Them Help You
Kids love to help us. Let them help you with shopping, cooking, cleaning and anything else that they can safely do. The more they learn, the more knowledge they will have to take into their imagination. Your life gives them ideas and inspiration, so welcome them into it.
Surround them with Books
Books are one of the best things that we can give our children. Start reading to them as babies, and carry on until they are reading to you instead. Make story time a valuable part of the day and fill shelves with books. Stories are your child’s first best friend.
Like teaching them skills, visiting new places gives them more. A trip to the park can easily become a dinosaur adventure. Go to the beach, and they might see pirates. Spend time exploring when you can, visit places and let them dream.
Talk to them
You don’t have to play with them to be a part of their world. Ask about the land that they’ve made up. Let them give you the details of their adventures. Let them tell you all about it. Then, make crafts, cakes, pictures and stories related to the games that they are playing. You don’t need to play with them to become involved in their games. You just need to ask. Often our children are desperate to tell us all about the land of their imagination.