The ability of the mind to be creative and/or resourceful.
"Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
"Your time may be limited, but your imagination is not. "
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality. "
-Jules de Gaultier
"Imagination governs the world. "
"The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope."
-Henry Ward Beecher
How to Teach Your Children to Use Their Imagination
Creativity is becoming a lost art, especially for children. Surrounded by so much pre-made stimulation and activity, children are rapidly losing the ability to develop the use of their imagination. This could potentially mean years of lost innovation and invention.
So how do we encourage our children to develop their creativity and imagination? It starts at home, in the things we do and the surroundings that we provide for our children.
Building Helps Imagination
Innovation and invention begin with an idea and that idea rapidly becomes a reality through building processes. Your child has many ideas, but if they don't have the tools to make their ideas a reality, their creativity and imagination will be stunted. Building is one of the most fundamental aids in fostering imagination.
However, this does not mean leaping into your car and buying the biggest Lego kit you can find, or the most extravagant building set. Instead, you can simply buy your child a container of bricks, Lincoln Logs, or building blocks. Larger, expensive kits can be difficult to put together and often contain pre-made instructions for assembly—there is only one set outcome.
Simple building materials have unlimited outcomes and your child can easily explore all these possible outcomes without restraint. Encourage your child to build things by giving them challenges. Ask them to build you a hospital, a spaceship, a different planet, and be amazed at what they come up with!
Limit Screen Time
Television is all too often a mindless activity (with the exception of educational programming). Limit your child's screen time, and encourage your child to spend time outdoors. Take your child outside, let them explore nature, and get some exercise.
If your child is having difficulty playing alone, find a box or plastic container and hunt bugs. Or you could get a shovel and dig some holes to explore newly formed caves. Get on your hands and knees and become a roaring lion. Interact with your child and show them the different world's imagination can create.
Let Your Child Explore
It is important to let your child explore their world and be independent. Independence fosters creativity, imagination and unique thought.
Provide your child with books and the tools needed to explore and create and give them time to use them by themselves. An imagination is one of the most important and wonderful things a child (and adult!) can possess; don't let your child grow up without one!
Activities that will help ignite the power of your Child's Imagination:
Provide art and painting items; ensure that you are allowing your child to get busy on drawing and painting. Buy your children a box of art items containing things like cotton balls, craft sticks, crayon, paint vials, glue, markers, color pencils, art paper, scissors and erasers. Save some old magazines and newspapers as your family can use them for creative art. Once your child creates some art items or paintings, ensure that you are displaying them in a prominent place in your house.
Spend some quality time to read poems and stories. Reading out poems, rhymes and bedtime stories will keep your child spellbound and interested throughout the day. Listening to bedtime stories is possibly the most enduring and cherished activity in which both parents and kids can participate.
Encourage your child in an activity that they enjoy: kids have their own preferences. Some kids may like to dance and make merry, while others may simply love to sing loudly to themselves. The summertime or vacation time could be the best time for such activities.
Imagination and creativity are two important aspects of a child's life. A child who develops these activities early during the growing years will also develop the ability to succeed and prosper in their adult life. You may wish to help your child to see and feel the beneficial aspects of imagination.
A child who develops an interest in developing creativity and imagination can be cheerful and enterprising. These positive qualities will help them succeed in their classes, while the power of imagination can assist your child to see and visualize those scenarios that are helpful in recognizing the good things from bad ones. Parents can make the best mentors and partners to help their children to develop these qualities.
Aunt Molly's Attic by Breann M. George
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Oh The Place's You'll Go! by Dr. Suess
Frederick by Leo Lionni
Enhancing imagination in the workplace
So often we get in a rut with our day to day lives and after time, we begin to not notice the little things around us. We live in such an interesting and complex world, but yet we become numb to our surroundings. Challenge your co-workers to deliberately notice more of their environment. This involves observing your surroundings and making mental notes, describing it to yourself in detail. Have your co-workers start simple by deciding something that they want to notice today (sounds, a certain color, smiles, their own positive thoughts, etc.) Focusing your brain on something specific creates an optimal environment for one's creative imagination thus making it a strong, healthy and happy way for your co-workers to challenge their brain!