All beings start with the ability to process the information they have before them through their basic senses. Sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste are the primary senses and when an animal lacks one, it tends to make up for it with another, such as shrews who can't see but have superior touch and smell capabilities. But there's one thing that humans have that differs them from these animals, something that has enabled us to rise above them and do such things as soar into space. We have our imagination.
Why Is Imagination Important?
Imagination is the power to form a mental image out of something that is not present to any of the five senses. With it, we are able to create something that doesn't exist or mentally transform what we see in front of us into something else. Imagination inspired early humans to get creative with twigs and stones and to create tools, weapons, and other critical societal items.
Today, your child might not need to use their imagination to creatively solve how to survive the upcoming winter, but as they mature, they will need to solve daily problems like making meals and connecting with new friends and people. When they enter their first, second, fifth, or even tenth job, they will undoubtedly need to use their imagination to solve work problems. Whether they become a software developer and need to imagine new tech solutions or a nurse who needs to create more holistic healthcare routines, the need to visualize and craft is in every career. That is at the core of why imagination is important.
Now You Know Why Is Imagination Important, Next How To Inspire Imaginative Play
So how do you inspire imaginative play so that your child can grow up happy and successful? Consider the following:
- Encourage reading and making up their own stories. Reading stories is quite possibly the best thing you can do to encourage your child's imagination. That's because unless your child has aphantasia, reading will evoke images in your child's brain and those images will largely be their own. Later, encourage your child to create their own stories or re-tellings, as this will help encourage them to visualize and make connections on their own.
- Encourage creative play. Creative play is any type of play where children have to imagine a part of it. This includes drawing and painting in which they have to put what's in their brains on paper. Playing role play and dress up are also fantastic types of creative play that tap into imagination. Here, you give your child a couple of props and they set the rules on how those props will play into their make believe.
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