Young children are almost always bursting with energy and the best thing you, as a parent can do for them is to channel this endless stream of energy in the right places and you will notice your child's development. By the time your child is 3 to 4 years old, you will notice that they engage in a lot of pretend play, pretending to be mum on the phone, or pretending to be a doctor seeing patient. They will use their creativity and imagination to play, interact, make decisions, and solve problems. Walking down the memory lane, you would remember your days spent pretending to be someone else when you were a child. Imaginative and creative play is very crucial to preschoolers.
Here are some top ways to promote creativity and imagination in your child.
Never criticize your child’s ideas. They would feel as dejected as you would if your ideas are being criticized. A child once wanted his dog to mow the lawn during his pretend play. Instead of telling him that he was wrong to have such an idea, his mother asked the dog to do it and when the dog didn’t do it, the mother simply told him child that the dog probably didn’t feel like doing it. The child saw for himself that it was not going to happen, without being told that his idea was not so practical. Your child, uninhibited, would continue to think creatively and would not hold back in sharing their ideas with you!
As tempted as you may be to help your child out of a sticky situation where her toy is stuck in the sofa or he cannot find the spot for a piece of puzzle, don’t be too quick to go to their rescue. Although you should not leave them to their own device totally, encourage them to solve the problem themselves. If your child is trying to get a toy out from a place deep in the sofa, help by suggesting ‘I wonder if you can get it out from here?’ instead of doing it for them. Always allow your child to find different approaches to problem solving, they may surprise you with what they can do. Also, it's a good idea to let them have a few attempts at solving their problems before you interfere. This way, your child can develop critical and creative thinking in an encouraging environment. This goes a long way towards your child becoming a capable and resilient adult.
Allow your child to make their own choices, but give only choices that you can agree to, so it's a win-win situation where you're happy and your child is happy. Give them the choice between only two things, as too many choices can overwhelm them. For example, hold up two different shirts and let him decide what he would like to wear that day and let him choose the pants to go with the shirt too. This allows him to be creative and independent.
This will take up some of your time, but it is perfectly worth it. Read to your child, read with your child or listen to him read and watch him act out bits of the book to you. Nothing can make a child’s imagination and creativity blossom as much as books can. Books with illustrations are perfect for preschool aged children as this takes their imagination to new levels. Incorporte different voices and accents along with facial expressions. When your child is able to emote what he or she reads, it will help them to be creative and imaginative.
While your child should not watch too much TV, but if you pick the right programs, they can also teach children alot about the world. Or at very least pique their interest and inspire creativity in children. Programs that are well designed and take into consideration children's developmental stages are more likely to have educational merit. It is also important to limit TV time limit TV time to an hour or so each day.
You will notice that your child has a particular interest. Some children love cars and trucks, some like dolls, some love books and others enjoy painting and the arts. Whatever your child enjoys, nurture their passion. They will pair up creativity with this passion and will always have something new to do or show you. This will be the child who is never bored.
Above all, remember to have fun. You can't force creativity, but you can nurture it. Children who feel free to make mistakes and to explore and experiment will also feel free to invent, create, and find new ways to do things.