Creativity is on the decline, and it has been since 1990. But parents have a significant role to reverse this trend, says Fatherly.
The good things is, you don’t actually have to do much to help your child’s imagination flourish. You don’t have to be an artistic genius to do it—you just have to give them a little nudge in the right direction. Here are some tips from Fatherly, Parenting, and The Telegraph on how to spark your child’s imagination that actually work!
1. Tell stories and read to them
You can tell your child stories from your childhood, or make some up as you go along. If you don’t think yourself much of a storyteller, read them books, and do it regularly. Do voices and ask your kid what they think will happen next. Not only will this spark their imagination, it will also foster a love for reading.
2. Give your kids free rein
When you make art with your kids—whether it’s painting or molding or building with Lego—let them call the shots. With young kids especially, you should refrain from being too structured and let them interpret things their way. If your kid says that purple blob she painted is a dog, just let it be a dog.
Read more tips on fostering your kid’s imagination on the next page.
3. Play pretend
Encourage your child to play pretend, as this is great for their imagination and confidence. Fill up a box with accessories and clothes they could use. You could even join them and act out amusing scenes together.
4. Make art galleries and museums interesting
Plenty of kids don’t see the allure of art galleries, but that’s probably because they haven’t been taught how to appreciate them. Talk to them about different works of art—you could tell them the story behind certain paintings, or make up entirely new ones. To make the most out of your cultural excursions, make them as interactive as possible.
5. Let them have their quiet time
Try to keep young children from spending too much time consuming media from television, movies, or computers. Though they’re entertaining, these forms of entertainment aren’t interactive, and so they can turn your children into consumers, not creators. Leave them alone from time to time so they can find different ways to entertain themselves.
READ: 5 Reasons why boredom is actually good for your child
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