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8-ways-to-help-encourage-your-child-s-imagination

8 Ways To Help Encourage Your Child's Imagination

Encouraging creativity in your child is all about personal expression and development; and simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to be creative and to appreciate shape, colour, texture and visual aesthetics may be more important than ever, to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up.

There are lots of things that you can do together at home which are easy, fun and simple to organise; and your child can help to set up the activity and tidy away afterwards! It’s not so much about discovering the next Picasso, it’s about fun ways to learn; developing your child’s imagination whilst being creative. Parents may also learn a thing or two as well!  

8 Ways To Get Creative With Your Child

1. Painting

Keep it simple and enjoy painting with your child.  Children love nothing more than a selection of brightly coloured paints (especially if you add glitter or shaving foam!), a large sheet of blank paper and a selection of brushes or sponges. Put plenty of newspaper down, both of you don aprons so that you don’t get splashed, and watch your child’s imagine let loose. You can swap traditional brushes for homemade potato prints, or let them experiment with fingers and toes, toothbrushes, rollers or string which is exciting and great fun as they see all their different designs.

2. Drawing

Use crayons, markers, coloured pencils or chalk, and encourage your child to draw the world around them, which is great for developing and honing their fine motor skills. Sit down together and spend a happy half-hour drawing whatever takes your child’s interest, and you can be as expressive as you want drawing a family portrait or possibly dragons or dinosaurs. 

3. Sand Play

Whether you’re at the beach or in a sandpit, there’s nothing quite like the feel of sand running through tiny fingers and toes. With a bucket, spade and some basic plastic moulds, there’s no limit to the castles and other imaginary creations you can build. 

4. Water Play

In a similar way to sand, water can also stimulate children’s imagination. Make bath times fun by providing some basic bath toys – even an empty shampoo bottle will do! In the summer, the outdoor paddling pool will provide hours of entertainment as children love to pour water from one container into another, splash and play in the water; and this is the place for it! 

5. Model Making

Young children love the squidgy texture of play dough and mola, and moulding it in to different shapes. Create some cute farm animals to play with and if you use the proper modelling clay, you can paint and glaze them, and they can make lovely keepsakes or gifts for grandparents!  

6. Stories

Make storytelling a part of your day, every day. There’s no better way to send your child happily into dreamland than with a cuddle from a parent and a bedtime story. It doesn’t always have to come from a book – try telling each other stories too. There’s no limit to where your imagination might take you. 

7. Music

Let your child experience and celebrate sound, rhythm and melody by playing music often. Invest in some inexpensive child-friendly instruments, or simply bang along on an upside-down mixing bowl. Make up your own songs and why not dance while you’re at it? 

8. Dressing Up & Role Play

Let your imagination run riot and build a shop, a car or an aeroplane.  Cardboard boxes are great for this. Pretending games are vital to get your child thinking creatively, as well as challenging them to blend ideas constructively with you and their friends.

Spending some quality time being artistic or goofy with your child will show them that adults also have a creative side, and that you don’t always have to colour inside the lines.

Have fun trying some of these out together!


About the Author

Giraffe Childcare. Childcare that shapes a lifetime. For more information, visit giraffe.ie

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