Here’s a true story about cultivating a child’s imagination: Two children I know, ages 4 and 6, have two sets of generous grandparents. One side of the family lavishes them with video games and electronic wonders, while the other grandparents give wooden blocks, books, puzzles, LEGOs, more books, and art supplies—all items that require a kid’s imagination. On the big days, Christmas and birthdays, the electronic toys always make a big splash. The other 360 days or so, the children throw themselves into imaginative, inventive, non-electronic play. It turns out that children have more fun when they use their imaginations. Why?
We were designed as human beings to be creative and imaginative, just like God is. We thrive and flourish when we act on those inclinations. Not only that, but both learning and satisfaction are enhanced when we are encouraged to use our imaginations. It’s not enough to simply tell our kids to be more creative. We have to guide them there. Here are 6 ways to cultivate your kid’s imagination.
1. Using a Cardboard Box
Get together with your children for a playdate. Provide a cardboard box and a set of markers. Ask them to take you on an adventure, and see what happens.
2. Self-Directed Play
Encourage play in way that gives children no access to directions so they’ll have to make up their own games. You can prompt with assignments and questions. Give them time and space. Resist the urge to organize them.