Being stuck inside isn’t typically how families and children expect to spend spring break. We expect to wander new places, soak in the sunshine, try new foods, and learn new cultures. Though that’s not what we got, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find that same energy elsewhere. In fact, now is the perfect time to help your children (and yourself) reconnect with their imagination. Let your child’s imagination run wild—after all, being imaginative is vital for solid development. Below you’ll find a few different tips for nurturing your child’s imagination.
“Schedule” Imaginative Playtime
We put schedule in quotes because we want you to remember that you cannot force creativity and imagination. Don’t insist on a child engaging in artistic projects if they really aren’t interested, especially if it’s a project you decided they should do. Rather “schedule” imaginative playtime that’s left up to them. Provide an area with books, papers, coloring utensils, music, and fabrics—plus, whatever else you think your child would like to encourage imagination. You’ll find they’ll pick up an instrument and start to play, dance along with the music, make their own stories, or read to an imaginary classroom. Let it be scheduled, uninterrupted time for them to explore.
Participate in Their Creative Projects
Another great way to encourage imagination in your children is by participating in their creative projects. If your daughter wants you to play make-believe in the castle with her, then play with her. If your son wants you to help him with the comic book he’s creating, then help him. It will make them feel more confident in their imaginative skills and help them develop broader vocabularies and more flexible thinking skills.
Start Out with Art and Literacy Activities
Imagination may be a hard thing to spur along in your child. If you’re stuck on what to do in the house or where to begin with imagination projects in general, start out with art and literacy activities. Use watercolors and have them paint what they consider a “beautiful day.” Have them create a 10-minute musical. Schedule reading time and then discuss other possible endings to the book. Make up stories together or take turns making up a story. Activities like these should help spark any creative moments stuck in their heads.
Limit Screen Time
It can seem like a much easier option to just turn on the TV and let the kids sit there for a while. Though that might be okay every once in a while, it doesn’t do much for spurring constant creativity. A movie and TV show every now and then may spark an idea for their creativity, but it doesn’t ensure a constant flow of creativity. Set a precedent that one hour of screen time means at least one hour of something creative or productive.