Have you ever sat down and observed your child? I am sure you have. All of us parents do. Isn’t it amazing the way they come up with so many random things? I have observed my children and grandchildren, and found that their imagination can reach remarkable heights.
A child’s mind is in discovery mode. They observe their surroundings and absorb all they see and hear like a sponge. How can we get in it and find out more about what they are thinking? We can do so, by encouraging creativity.
Play dress up
Have you ever watched a child play dress-up? It seems like their Imagination is at its best when they do so. They rummage through clothes and voila, a king, princess, or valiant firefighter emerges from the closet. It is amazing to watch them absorb themselves into the character. Their mannerism mimics that of the character they have become, their words resemble those of kings, princesses, or firefighters, and their imagination captures the essence of their transformation.
While we observe their behavior, we realize that they understand and have learned what it is to be that particular character. We get a glimpse into their remarkable minds and realize how much they learn by observing.
It used to be Lincoln logs, and then wooden blocks, later Legos appeared to entice a child’s creative thinking and solving skills. For generations, children used these building blocks to create cities, people, boats, bridges, animals, and just about anything that their imagination is capable of. It makes them take shapes and convert them into the things they are familiar with.
Their wonderful imagination takes simple blocks and locks them, stacks them, and shapes them without any effort whatsoever. The final product reflects their mind, their learning capabilities, and their own creativity.
Art & Crafts
Give a child some construction paper, scissors, and glue and they will make you a work of art. Provide them beads, string, and scissors and they will make you a bracelet. Provide them with crayons, markers, pencils, and an easel, and they will paint you a masterpiece.
Arts and crafts promote a child’s creativity and abstract thinking. They take a blank paper and reproduce those things that are important to them. Most kids will paint mommy, daddy, their house, and stick people to reflect their family unit. It is through this art that we get a glimpse into their little minds and find out how they see themselves fit into their own little world.
Science projects are great tools to understand a child’s ability to think through, follow methodical steps, and wait for the final results. When a child asks how something grows, or how it works, we can use that question to encourage learning about it. We can ask them how they think it grows, or how they think it works, and we can help them through the logical process.
We can get the materials needed and guide them through the project. A great example is “How to grow a plant or vegetable”? We can provide soil, a pot, the seeds, the water, and a book that explains the instructions to follow. Not only do we answer their question, but we get them to experiment, observe, and follow through.
Once the plant or vegetable grows, imagine your child’s mind being fascinated by the new sense of accomplishment.
A child’s creativity and imagination has no boundaries. There are many ways to encourage them. The above are just the tip of the iceberg. Promoting their mind to create and imagine will encourage them to continue their quest into their brand new world of exploration and learning.