Princess dress up, castle, imagination

 

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” -  Albert Einstein

 

Why Imagination Matters

Although it may seem that pretending to be a princess or an astronaut or a robot is just child’s play, in actual fact, it could be one of the most important aspects of your children’s development. That’s right, this week we are talking about the absolute, vital importance of imagination.

 

Recent studies have proved that imagination is a fundamental part of the learning process. Inextricably linked to creativity, problem-solving, and even coping with stress, imagination has been shown to advance cognitive development, evolving communication skills and improving vocabulary. Imagination is a way for children not only to play, but to learn – about historical figures, different cultures, people they have never met and places they have never been.

 

And it is not just about the past – imagination also plays an important role in how children plan for the future, even just in questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It will also help set children up with social skills for the future. There is strong evidence which points to a link between imaginary play and a child’s ability to see things from another person’s perspective.

 

How to encourage it:

So, we know imagination is fundamental, but how can you be sure your children are making the most of theirs? We’ve made a list of our top imagination-boosting activities and tips for you to try at home.

Top Tips

1)      Rule number 1 – reduce screen time. There is a lot of great stuff out there for kids to watch and learn on TV and the internet but, when it comes to imagination time, you want your littlies to be making up their own stories, not enjoying someone else’s.

2)      Tell Stories. This can be you making up stories to tell them when they’re little, which can evolve into collaborating on characters and events in the story until eventually, it’s them making up stories for you!

3)      Make art. Whether it is natural craft projects, painting, drawing or making monsters out of play dough – encourage your children to create the wildest, wackiest thing they can think of. A trip to your local museum or gallery for inspiration might help!

4)      Play. Play, play, play. This is the best way to get the imaginative juices flowing. Whether they are dressing up, saving the world in the back garden, or building a rocket in the living room out of a cardboard box – equip them with open-ended toys like blocks, sand, twigs, or bedsheets and leave the rest up to their minds.

 

Our Top Toys for Imaginative play:

1)      Animals Musicians Finger puppets

All kids need to put on a fabulous puppet show is some fingers and a little creativity. Encourage them to try different voices and personalities for each puppet.

2)      Story Express Circus

We love this gorgeously colourful train set, with a whole host of characters for kids to enjoy. Ask them to make up a story about each one – from the tiger to the Strongman.

3)      Doc Haba Doctor’s kit

Do they want to be a doctor when they grow up? Even if they don’t – this way they can try the job on for size!

4)      25 pc Building Block Set

You may just see colourful wooden blocks – but you would be wrong. It’s a castle! It’s a campsite! It’s a tower! It’s…. whatever they want it to be!