Thursday, April 16, 2009

Imagination is Vital!

Last week I discussed the importance of child play, this week I wanted to stress the importance of imaginative play within child play.

Imaginative play is vital to the development of children. Healthy imaginative games help to form and fortify children and thus enabling them to grasp the whole field of their environment.
Too often today child are left without the necessary stimulus that provides for a fertile ground in which imagination can grow. I recently had an occasion where I was demonstrating how children could use their imagination to draw pictures. One of the children asked me what imagination was, so I asked them all to close their eyes as I told a story. They were all to listen and think about what pictures came into their minds as the story unfolded and then draw pictures of how they interpreted the story. I overheard the child that asked the question encouraging the other children to use their ‘magination’ for the rest of the time we were together.

Too many children today are “entertained” by TV, video games or walk around with ear buds in their ears. Gone are the Red Light/ Green light, Freeze Tag and other outside games as well as the cardboard box that becomes a fort, a car, a boat, a doll house or what ever else the child can dream up.
Playsilks are also a wonderful addition to imaginative play. They can easily become a fort, a cape a knights outfit, mermaid, princess, dragon or any other character your child could dream up.

(pictures are from Sarah's Silks where I purchase the silks for my store)

When my grandson was younger he wanted a bow and arrow so I took him outside and found a thin curved branch and some straight ones. With the addition of some string and some soda cans we were able to spend an enjoyable afternoon shooting targets. He never felt deprived that it was not store bought. He looked forward to playing with it each time he came to visit.

Many years later I find him creating his own games and stories. Although I do not know it for sure, I suspect that this kind of imaginative play may have helped inspire his desire to read. At 10 years old, he is ravenously engulfing books written for children several grades higher than the grade he is in. I actively encourage you to inject imaginative play into your childs life, if you have not done so already. You will be amazed at what they can imagine!

Have a Great Green Day!

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