Using imagination and play to benefit childhood development requires the tempting children’s attempts to do things new and exciting and in unfolding the scope of young people’s critical thinking potentiality.
If not universally agreed upon, it is fair to say that great value is given to the notion that parents should limit screen time for children and encourage multi-sensory experience. Children should spend time outdoors. Children should invent scenarios. Children should engage in art and craft and activities of the mind.
Unstructured, unscheduled time provides children opportunities to imagine and create. Unburdened by limitations and boundaries and constraints of time, children begin to develop their sense of themselves, their perception of the world they live in and an appreciation for the people they share it with.
Creativity: Humanity’s Highest Endeavor and a Child’s Greatest Gift
If it is true that the most complicated and highest manifestation of human thought is creative thinking, the question then is how do parents germinate and enrich creativity in their children?
While it may come as a surprise, creativity is not innate. Children are not born with a propensity to be more or less creative than others. Like walking and talking and reading and writing, creativity is a learned skill. Creativity and imagination can be developed.
But, while children can learn to be creative on their own and children can develop their own imagination, those who are put in an environment that fosters creativity and imagination will develop theirs to a greater degree. Children who are encouraged to be creative and imaginative will push their potentiality.
While there is a wide and varied list of means by which to grow creativity in your child, there are several recurring themes including, at least in the field of child psychology:
- Designate a space for creating. Children require an area all their own, one that allows them to create freely with their imaginations without the constraints and restrictions associated with a structured and premeditated routine or agenda.
- Allow for free time. Removing time limitations is a key component in the fostering of creativity. Free time is time children can escape the limitations of a watching and demanding clock.
- Keep it simple. Over-stimulation does not germinate creativity. In fact, a lack of simplicity thwarts creativity by demanding attention as opposed to allowing the imagination to take over and create the world a child participates in.
- Help your kids activate their senses. Simple prompts that provide a child’s imagination with a starting point are all that is needed to begin the creative thought process.
- Cultivate creative critical thinking. Children should be rewarded and encouraged for their ingenuity and imagination expertise. The environment should be warm and friendly and their smiles and laughs should be met with the same.
- Avoid managing. Forcing a child to come back to reality and assess and implement the limitations and criteria you put on their creative process handicaps their ability to think and create freely. Allow them to create their own rules and ideals within their creative imagination.
Creativity and imagination are not inherent traits. Creativity and imagination will not grow without love and encouragement and an environment conducive to free-thought development.
Like anything else with a child, the more you care and the harder you try and the better the environment you create for them, more successful — creative and imaginative — your child will be!