Young Children & Imagination

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Think left and think right and think low and think high. 

Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  

Dr. Seuss

 

 

Imagination is the fertile ground for faith.  It allows young children to embrace stories of a giant whale that swallowed a man named Jonah, how Lazarus came back from the dead, and how a giant Red Sea parted in two.  

Imagination allows young children to think creatively in real life.  Studies found that young children who were encouraged to be imaginative as young children, remained so as they got older and evolved into skilled problem solvers.  Later in life, early “imaginators” were more resourceful in the face of challenge, struggle and difficult circumstances.  These kids had a more developed sense of how to navigate challenges such as forgetting to bring homework to school, a forgotten book or lunch, or being placed in a group with challenging students.  

Imagination is the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.  Albert Einstein said that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Toddlerhood is widely known as the most imaginative period of a child’s life.  Two year olds have a limited sense of what’s real and what’s imaginary.  Thinking outside of the box is an easy task for someone who doesn’t yet understand the restrictions of the box.  

Ideas for nurturing imagination:

  • Read Stories
  • Make up Stories
  • Encourage pretend play
  • Have props on hand
  • Invest in art supplies 
  • Make music
  • Limit TV exposure
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Build forts
  •  Attend story hours

While nurturing imagination, your child will be developing social and verbal skills, teaching and modeling how to work through emotional issues, and expanding your child’s sense of self.