Encouraging Curiosity and Imagination

Recently, I spent an hour in the car with my daughter.  She asked me a round of about 20 questions over the course of a few minutes.  Some questions naturally related to each other, some were random questions completely unrelated to the topic.  I had no idea where she was going with this conversation and by the end of the drive I was exhausted! In that time she had collected my answers and turned them out to present her ideas.  She had a complete vacation itinerary, dream home and description of a candy store she planned to open by the age of 30.

Curiosity is important.  It means we are engaged, connected and care.  It brings people, and the world closer together.  A child who is curious, with a good imagination is joyful, alert, and is continually gaining the skills he or she needs to cope with life and problem-solving.

There are a few things we can do as adults to encourage our children’s imagination.

  1. “I’m bored!”  Free time challenges your child’s imagination. Quiet moments can send them off on a journey of imagination. It teaches them to self manage, create and entertain themselves and find joy.
  2. Storytelling.  Narrate stories, traditional folklore, change the endings, voice and tone. Draw pictures while you spin a tale together or immerse yourself in lego or crafts.  As your children get older encourage them to write, create comic strips. Turn the storytelling and creative moments into movement that links the brain with the hand; a writing instrument and define the moment.  
  3. Reading.  There is endless data about the benefits of reading.  Introducing reading early, making it a part of everyone’s day forms life long habits that not only build a love for books but expands imagination.
  4. Active Play.  Why play the same games? Come up with new games together.  Encourage your child to come up with variations of games they love to play all the time.
  5. Recycle!  Keep cartons, interesting packaging.  Avoid buying pre-packaged crafts. Give your child an opportunity to think outside the box and create something special with recycled goods.
  6. Go outside!  Nature is unpredictable, surprising and inspiring.  Point out shapes and figures in the clouds. Listen to the sounds, observe the light and colour.  Collect pebbles and shells on the beach.

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