Imagination in Children, is it Just for Fun?
When I was a little girl, I lived in a world of my own, I had a pet cow, a fairy for a best friend and a wizard mentor with hair longer than Rapunzel. They made my childhood a much more magical time.
We all have our imaginary friends as children and it is beautiful. Our take on a world without any physical boundaries. As children, we look for magic in every mundane task. A washing machine is a tornado maker that drowns the cloth people and mushroom are umbrellas for little elves when it rains too hard.
As life catches up with us, we lose touch with our free imagination. The giant tap in skies turns into clouds, the lady in the moon turns into giant craters on the moon surface and the airplane that went into our mouth becomes a regular meal.
Imagination is fun, but did you know it is so much more than that?
An active imagination promotes emotional development
When children imagine, they put themselves in the shoes of other people which helps them understand emotions, broadens their horizon and aids in emotional understanding.
Children are capable of imagining elaborate scenarios. Each and every character is defined and has a definitive role in their story. The scene is also completely different than what they see. They might be in a chocolate factory or perhaps the floor is lava and the bear who is also a doctor is drowning. They are basically doing everything a writer does.
This kind of creative process and active imagination puts their cognitive development in second gear as the brain gets to make massive neuro connections.
Problem Solving Skills
When children play pretend, they are the adults in any situation they imagine. They often act out situations they have seen in real life and come to their own solutions. This process lays foundation for autonomy, problem solving skills and initiative.
Children are actively communicating to either each other or to their toys. Either way, these activities polish their communication skills and boost their confidence.
Now comes an important question.
How can we encourage imagination in children? We will publish a detailed blog on this topic in the coming week. Until then, Keep the magic alive.