Children always manage to view the world differently. A simple cardboard box can quickly become a castle to defend from attacking enemies, a race car zooming into first place, a rocket ship launching into space, and so much more! With a cardboard box, children can enter a world of their own where anything is possible.
This is all made possible by the creativity and imagination that children have inside them.
Imaginative play allows children to foster further skills than what traditional teaching can achieve on its own. It helps to improve lateral thinking, communication skills, creativity, and helps to develop a curious mind.
Dr Mattke, a paediatrician for the Mayo Clinic, has stated that “from an early age the best ways children learn is through playing, exploring, using their imaginations, and working through social situations that come up with other children in these play settings.”
Susan Engel, Ph.D, author of Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Lives, notes that with imagination and “when a child makes up a scenario, either with play gestures or with language, she engages in a powerful form of thinking.”
Some of the ways in which to encourage imagination and creativity in children can be:
- Asking questions- as adults, we often decide what a child has created. If it looks like a cloud then it must be one. However a child may actually see it as a monster running towards a mountain. By asking “what have you drawn?” or “what is that?” instead of assuming, children can open their minds to possibilities rather than being constrained by the adult norm.
- Encourage art and projects- art is a fantastic tool to allow children to create. However, we must remember that art is not just painting on a piece of paper. It can also be using a paint coated golf ball to roll around on a board or using raindrops to splash out dye on the footpath. Using different mediums allows children to experiment and further explore their creativity.
- Drama and acting- here at Mozarts Kindergarten a story is read aloud and then this is followed by an adventure! Elements of the story are chosen by the children and, using their imagination, are acted out through drama, dance, music or art. Everyone has fun bringing the stories to life right before their very eyes. The pirate story book is no longer just words and pictures on a page, it is their friends dressed up and steering the captain’s wheel while the wind and sea spray whip around the boat.
- Explore nature and your surroundings- nature is full of mystery and wonder to children. They are still learning to examine the world outside of the comforts of home. Next time you take a walk, let your child feel the different textures as they walk along. A corrugated fence or leafy hedge may conjure up ideas of ripples in waves or walking through the forest undergrowth.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. 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.” ― Albert Einstein
We’re not sure if Einstein had a flying carpet. We think it was his mind that flew and at Mozarts we like to think that children’s minds can do the same. Here at Mozarts Kindergarten, we focus on encouraging children to think outside the box and imagine and create whatever they can dream possible. We provide them with the freedom to dream big and the opportunities to explore these dreams.