1. Open up the world of storytelling for your children - buy them quality books,
online stories and videos. Take them to puppet shows, movies and children's
2. Encourage them to write their own stories or sequels to develop their
imaginations and writing skills.
3. Encourage play acting. Help your kids write book-inspired or original scripts
to act out or produce as puppet shows. Puppets are great for imaginative
play and the development of problem solving techniques through unreal
characters and situations. Give them old clothing, cardboard and such so that
they can create their own costumes, sets and props for their performances.
4. Expose them to the arts: drawing, sculpture, music, and the like and give
them the tools to experiment with these things for themselves. Help them
to express their ideas and feelings through art. If they show an aptitude or
interest in a particular arena, nurture it by permitting experimentation or
(CLICK HERE for a simple craft project that requires only scrap materials.)
5. Television and computer games are fine sometimes, but kids also need to
invent their own forms of imaginative play - see what they can do with a
large empty box or let them create a secret hideout under the tablecloth.
6. Encourage creative thinking. Help them look at familiar objects in new ways
and not be bound by preconceived notions.
(CLICK HERE for a few imagination stretchers.)
7. Develop crictical thinking skills and creative problem solving. Simply present
kids with a situation and give them some quiet reflective time to come up
with a solution. For example, if you were to spend your life on a desert island,
what ten objects would you want to take with you, and why ?
8. Support an interest in science and the exploration of nature. Go on nature
walks, observe wild birds and animals, try a home science lab and encourage
"why ?" types of questions from eager young minds. Have the patience to give
thorough answers and, if you don't have all the answers, you and your children
can look them up and discover the answers together.
9. Let them have some supervised time and assistance in the kitchen to create
their own sandwich combinations or even invent their own recipes. (As a bonus
for you, they'll be learning kitchen safety and the need to take responsibility
for cleaning up after themselves at the same time !)
10. Most of all - take the time to listen to their ideas ! Encourage experimentation
and creative self-expression. Don't hand them cookie cutter prefabricated
activities just to keep them occupied. Keep an eye out for your children's
responses to new situations and exposure to various arts and such, so that
you can nurture those most suited to your children's aptitudes and interests,
while being careful not to force any pursuits on them or pressure children to
produce results or stick with things they've lost interest in. Give them the
security and support they need, so that they can feel free to experiment with
no risk of embarrassment or ridicule if the results of any attempted venture
are less than perfect.
© Children's clothing, baby clothes and children's stories, plus clothing and unique gifts for the whole
family from Baby Bird Productions shops. Copyright: Barbara Freedman-De Vito, since 2003. This
site is protected by copyright internationally. All rights reserved.