Boost your child's imagination with these creative ideas.
July 01, 20224 min read
Play is the work of childhood. Yet, in a world filled with digital distractions and stuffed schedules, our kids are losing the chance to be…kids.
Little Change Creators was born of a desire to promote kindness, connection and creativity in a way that resonates with kids - play. Modern parents may not understand the importance of child’s play and think they’re doing their child a favour by enrolling them in every activity available. But kids need time to unwind and they need to become bored because this is what fuels their imagination.
When children use their imagination in play they’re developing new skills – physically, emotionally and socially. This helps them learn about our world and to understand their surroundings. It’s an opportunity to solve problems, create and innovate or change the world.
Studies have shown that imaginative play can cultivate important social qualities, such a co-operation, empathy, and appreciation of others’ feelings. The 2013 study, ‘Pretend and Physical Play’*, noted that children who take part in imaginative play show more emotional engagement, thoughtfulness and understanding, and less negative emotional expression such as selfishness and anger. So what’s the easiest way to invigorate their imaginations? Time.
When was the last time you enjoyed a playful and uninterrupted moment as a family? If you’re like me, those moments don’t come often enough. Between juggling phones, tablets, laptops and TV remotes, our lives are now lived through multiple screens, each demanding our attention at the expense of our family. We miss real-life experiences as families, whether it’s outdoor adventures together, playing games or just sitting down to eat at the same time.
As parents, we know instinctively what a real moment of connection feels like with our kids. So, here at Little Change Creators, we want to encourage more of that because in the blink of an eye that cherished time will have passed. Dr Margot Sunderland, a child psychologist and author of What Every Parent Needs to Know recommends all parents “have at least one hour a day built up of real moments of connection.”
So what should we be doing together in those moments of connection? Try some of these imaginative ideas…
Loose parts play – Open-ended activities that involve design, construction, problem-solving or role-playing offer opportunities for learning, collaboration and togetherness. Consider Lego, Meccano, beads, dolly pegs, buttons or magnetic tiles.
DIY craft – Items in our recycling bins can have a whole new life as children’s art projects or play products. They are simple and cheap materials that offer limitless potential in the mind of a creative child. Working on upcycled projects together also allows us to introduce the topic of sustainability to our children.
Nature play – There is evidence that playing outdoors and in nature stimulates imagination and learning. You could opt for a scavenger hunt, go for a bike ride or collect sticks, stones, bark and flowers for a craft project.
Cooking – Food has always been a way to connect with people and this is an opportunity to seek your child’s ideas when it comes to flavours, techniques and presentation. Practising cooking with your child gives them practical skills to foster independence.
Colouring – There’s something therapeutic and rewarding about colouring. It’s an opportunity to be creative while at the same time we can zone out, which is good for our overworked minds. Colouring can be enjoyed whether you’re 8 years old or 80 years old and Little Change Creators’ range of erasable colouring kits offers convenience, sustainability and endless creativity.
Imagination is the secret to success
Having a vivid imagination can be life-changing as it offers a unique advantage when it comes to new ways of thinking, innovating and problem-solving. In the end, it’ll be our children who imagine the world in which we live. It’ll be the power of their creativity that guides the fate of our culture. It’ll be up to them to decide whether to do something because "that's how it's done" or whether to question convention and come up with better solutions. So let’s slow down, connect and nurture their ideas because you might just inspire yourself in the process.
Make the most of every moment!
* ‘Pretend and Physical Play’ by Eric Lindsey & Malinda Colwell: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol59/iss3/4/