Gone are the days of pretending rocks, grass and sticks, were guns, or food. No longer do children out of necessity have to play make believe. Technology has caused young people t not need to develop their imaginations as their parents or grandparents once did. There are however many ways adults can help children stimulate their imaginations.
Studies indicate that toddlers benefit benefit when books are read t teem about people and places they are unfamiliar with. I can remember the joy of listening to my great grandmother singing silly nursery rhyme songs, or quoting poems and talking about folklore. Even today in random conversations some of the things she said close to 50 years ago come to mind.
As a young girl my family supplied me with dozens of Little Golden Books, Bible story books and books inspired by Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes. Children today do not have that same emphasis placed on reading and make believe, but we can help them.
My daughter has many books at her home, and so do I. I read the stores to my grandchildren often. I make sure they watch classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes. Afterwards we reinact some of te scenes together.
Most importantly, I encourage them to use their ow imaginations. Whenever they ride in my car, and I open the sun roof, my 7 year old grandson pretends we are in a spaceship. He and his younger brother and sister love sitting in boxes, pretending they are riding in a train or driving cars.
They also enjoy climbing in the pac and play pen then covering it with a sheet or blanket, calling it a tent. Whenever we walk through a local hiking trail the children say they are going through an enchanted forest Stuffed animals, are wonderful for a child’s imagination. Children can pretend they talk, play school, church, or have a puppet show. It’s really fun when parents and grandparents get involved.
When they are in the bathtub they load up with bubbles and make believe they are different characters, or animals. You can make up your own fun and games depending on where you live, and what is available in your home, or neighborhood. The important thing is to help children think outside of technology.
Enrolling children in summer reading programs at the local Library is also a good idea. Last year my grandchildren saw movies, clowns, puppet shows, and engaged finger painting and making its with play dough. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. If our children do not use their creative abilities, they will lose them.
Don’t forget allowing them to use their imaginations while playing in the park. They can also pretend they are driving, parking and turning around if your grocery store has the kiddy carts with steering wheels.