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How Can I Encourage My Toddler’s Imagination?

4 min read

Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere – Albert Einstein.

Why Is It Important To Encourage Your Child’s Imagination?

Being imaginative, thinking out of box, showcasing creativity – these are some of the things that differentiate one person from the other in today’s world. And what better age than toddler-hood to nourish your child’s imaginative spirit! Because a child who is encouraged to be creative when young, will be more equipped to find creative solutions to problems in adulthood.
Raising imaginative child

How Can I Kick-Start My Toddler’s Imaginative Skills?

Stimulating your baby’s brain by doing activities that help create connections in his brain is the first step to raise an imaginative child. With repetition, these connections create networks that enable him to learn and evolve. His brain just needs some input that his brain can process, so the more you give in to him, the better his imaginative ability will be. It is also easier to nurture creativity in a small child as opposed to a bigger child. Because as it is, a smaller child is more imaginative as he/she does not know yet the differences between real and imaginary. If you do not believe us, watch your toddler for some time. See how he finds seemingly innovative solutions for simple problems.
Cannot get ice cream in spoon? No problem. He will scoop some with his left hand and try to paste it on the spoon.
Cannot reach the table top? He will drag his big teddy bear and try to climb on it to reach the top (as opposed to say just climb on the chair)

8 Tips To Encourage Your Child’s Imagination

A toddler is the most imaginative person in this planet. They do not know what the “box” is, what constraints it offers – so thinking ‘out of the box’ comes naturally for them.Here are eight tips to nurture your child’s imagination and help them become creative adults:

    1. Read: Pick up books that have large colorful pictures. It could be either picture books or simple story books. The idea is to expand your child’s world – with unfamiliar places, animals, birds and objects. It will improve his vocabulary and it will also imprint images in his brain. Now with repetition and association, he will be able to make connections between what he has seen in book and real life. Your toddler brain is hungry for learning new things. Feed it. Start with reading bed time stories to your little ones
    2. Listen: Almost as important as reading, is listening to your child. Listening to your child’s narration of his imagination is a great way to develop and appreciate his creativity. He also learns to share his imagination. Of course, he might not be able to express himself well initially. And you might not be able to understand or guess what he is saying. But with time he will improve. You can also ask him open ended questions (“Why do you think that cat is crying?”, “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why do you have two eyes, but only one mouth?”). Listen patiently to his answers
    3. Pretend Play: Pretend play is a great way for your child to enact real life and imaginary scenarios. When your toddler says “I am teacher, you are baby” or “I am a little rabbit” or “I am a monster” and try to pretend to be someone he is actually not, he is at his creative best. Play along. Be what he wants to be. This not only sparks your child’s imagination, it also helps him solve problems. For instance, in the teacher act, you tell him that you are sick and you want to go home. See how he responds as your teacher. When he says “let me call your mama”, that is problem solving right there!
    4. Tell Stories: Just like reading out stories, spend some time every day to make up stories. Without any pictures to guide his imagination, his mind is free to imagine things in whatever way he wants. Include stories where your toddler is the main character. That will excite him more as he can imagine himself in the story. Include stories of when you were a toddler. It will excite them to think of you (a big person) as a child
    5. Use Props: Using props during pretend play or story telling is a great idea. You do not need to invest a lot of money in them. Even simple things around the house will do. You can put a dupatta around your daughter when she pretends to be a teacher. You can use a big carton as a tent or a house. You can use vessels as drums. The options are plenty – you just need to be, well, imaginative

Imaginative child

  1. Engage in Art: Drawing, painting, molding clay, building towers, cutting papers and sticking them on a page, blowing water colors all over a paper, making flowers with fingerprints – all these can make your child’s imagination run wild. Of course, you need to give them a free rein. Do not insist the sky to be blue, or leaves to be green. Let them express their art the way they want
  2. Nature Walk: Go for a walk in a garden or a park with your child. Carry a bag. Collect interesting items such as a fallen flower, leaf, stone, twig and so on. Once home, lay out all the items collected and encourage your child to talk about them
  3. No Multimedia Overloading: Too much of TV will ruin your child’s creativity. If they keep watching things in TV or YouTube, they will be conditioned to imagine things in a certain way which will in turn curb their imaginative power. Let them create their own pictures and scenes in their minds
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