You may have a little one who loves to imagine and create ideas galore. Children are naturally highly creative and often imagine wondrous worlds, full of sparkling palaces and shimmering rainbows. We fairies love to encourage this, not just because it is fun and we love it (although it is and we do!!), but also because it is so essential to a child’s wellbeing.
Studies show that imaginative play has an important role in child development. When children engage in imaginative play (or free play), it helps boost creativity, compassion, self-regulation, classroom behaviour, social skills, and more. Play is an important way that children discover and make sense of the world around them. And imagination is the foundation for that.
You are likely familiar with Einstein’s quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” The full quote continues: “For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
It’s inspiring to think that everything created and discovered by humans in this world once came from someone’s imagination, someone who let possibility open them to something beyond a current reality. We would not have technology, learning, discovery, art, or jewelled iphone cases, without imagination. And we certainly wouldn’t have dreams, and the imagination to make them come true.
So how can you help nurture your child’s imagination? Here’s some of our ideas, but we’re sure you can dream up your own!
- Provide children dress-up costumes, and have weekly family performances
- Spend time in forests. Invite your child to come up with stories about the magical creatures and fairies that live there.
- Try removing toys, and put out a large cardboard box instead.
- Instead of colouring pages, provide blank paper, markers, and crayons, or even better, paints!
- Put a fairy door in your backyard, and ask your child where it might lead to.
- Ask open questions, like: What do those clouds look like? If you could have a magical power (or two or three..) what would it be? What’s your favourite thing about ______?
- Play with your child; be silly! Children love that, and we know you secretly do too… : )
- Invite your child to make a fairy house and invite some fairies to come and stay (we can hear you!).
- Provide an unusual object, like a crystal or a masquerade mask, and invite your child to come up with a story about it.
- Give your child lots of time for free play – no rules, no video games, no structure or guidance, just wide open space.