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5 Ways to Encourage and Nurture Imagination in Your children

posted 22 Nov 2010, 07:59 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 22 Nov 2010, 08:00 ]

Imagination is as essential to a child's development as
logical thinking and math or science skills, perhaps even
more important.  If you think about it, any time you are
faced with a problem, at any stage of your life, it is
imagination that helps you to find a solution to that
problem.  Anyone who relies on knowledge or instruction
alone for this will never master what they do.  So how can
you help your child to master imagination?  It's all about
encouraging it in their play while they're still
young--here's 5 quick tips to get your own creative juices

1.  Look for Ways to Improve

One of the best exercises of the imagination is always
asking, "How can I make this better?"  You and your child
can do this together.  Look at everyday items in your house
and brainstorm together what it would take to make that item
more useful, more efficient, or even just more cool.
Encourage them to find ways to take their art projects and
creations to the next level or to keep expanding on it.

2.  Teach Them to Observe

The data we take in from the world is the food for our
imagination.  Without input, output is limited.  So teach
your child to watch the world--to observe and analyze the
things they see.  This can be as simple as nature watching
(or people watching) or as complex as conducting fun
experiments to see what happens.

3.  Ask Questions About their Work

When your child has created something, don't just give your
approval and then leave it at that.  Ask them questions
about it--this causes them to think about their own creative
process as well as what they've made.  The aim isn't to
criticize.   Instead, you are aiming to keep their mind
working on this project.  You'll find out things you never
would have thought about why they created what they did, but
you also may inspire them to keep working on it and make
something far more complex because of a seed you somehow

4.  Let Them Learn to Improvise

Children don't need all the best toys and most high tech
video games to have a good time--take everything away from
them and they will find something to play with.  Buy them a
present and watch them have a ball with the wrapping paper.
Avoid the impulse to always keep them stocked up with flashy
toys.  Let them use their imagination to create their own

Make it a point to make imagination and creativity a regular
part of your child's life.  Any time you do something, think
about how you can make it better or how you can use it as
chance for them to exercise part of their brain.  Doing so
may even help you strengthen your own creative thinking

About the Author:

One of the most effective ways to get your kid's creative
juices flowing is to bring back the lost art of play.  Make
your own yard a playground and watch how they make it their
own world, turning a kid's playset into their own private
spaceship.  . Check out some great modern outdoor swing
sets, playsets, or other playground equipment at now!