An increasing concern for parents is the amount of time which their children are spending in front of screens, whether it be their smartphone, tablet or TV, with the average child spending as much as six hours a day in front of a screen.
Spending time in front of a screen is a very passive activity, and doesn’t allow children to use their imaginations, which is a key part of their development.
With that in mind, here are five ways in which you can encourage your children’s imaginations.
Reading is one of the best ways to get your little ones’ imaginations flowing, and reading should really be a regular part of their routine.
Reading stories to your children is a good starting point, but it also helps them a lot to spend time reading on their own.
Be sure to let them choose their own books, even if you don’t think it’s the kind of thing they’d enjoy, as it’s important to let them have some kind of control.
Make sure to create a cosy and safe environment for your children to get lost in a book, either using pillows and blankets or perhaps by buying them their own little tipi as a space to read in.
Let Them Build Their Own Worlds
Children love creating and disappearing into their own little worlds, and you’d be surprised at just what sorts of stories they can dream up using just everyday objects.
For example, building a fort with pillows and boxes always goes down a treat, and it’s always fun to have a big dressing up box for the kids to pick and choose different outfits from.
It’s important not to put too many restrictions on children and really let them forge their own paths in this regard, no matter how silly their games!
Be Your Child’s Playmate
It’s always best for children to play with others and develop their social skills, and while this can be with other children their age, they also love to play with mum and dad too!
However, it’s important to let your child take the lead, and don’t be too intrusive. Allow them to try and solve problems for themselves before you step in to intervene, and be sure to play whatever role they ask you too!
Joining in also means that you’ll be on hand to give assistance when it’s necessary.
Visit a Museum or Art Gallery
Some children might find museums and galleries dull, kids will definitely engage with the more visual exhibits and paintings.
Encourage some imagination by letting them come up with their own stories about what they’re seeing, and let them try to fill in the gaps themselves.
Let Them Copy You
Children are always observing grown-ups, and often mimic their actions, sometimes remembering actions they see and then repeating them some days or weeks further down the line.
It’s much better that children learn by copying you rather than things which they see on TV or in movies, and even if you don’t notice it they’re always taking things in by watching you.
This is why children love playing with dolls and prams so much, and is why Play Like Mum specialise in making exact replicas of Silver Cross prams, so that kids can play just like mum. It’s all in the title really!