One very important power that sets humans apart from other animals is their imagination. And this should ideally be inculcated in kids from an early age. Visualising different places, situations, animals, humans or objects can enhance your kid’s brain power, help him/her adapt to surroundings, and prepare him/her for future.
Games are the best way to get your little one’s imaginative juices flowing. These might also boost his/her cognitive skills, ability of recognition and the power to think cohesively. Here are 5 games that foster your kid’s imagination.
Nothing like role-play – Encourage your kid to play a teacher, doctor, nurse, or even a warrior! He/she can come up with other roles as well. Role playing will not only improve the imagination of your little one, but also help him/her understand others’ problems and viewpoints. For instance, you can be a student and he/she the teacher. When you ask a question, your child will have to come up with an answer. This is a great way to boost memory as well. Or, if he/she chooses to be a doctor and you the patient, then he/she will have to come up with the right questions to understand your pretend illness. Role playing is a very effective and a constructive way for your kids to understand different emotions too, like pain, happiness, curiosity, anger and so on.
- Dressing up like grownups – This game can be a lot of fun and make for awesome memories when your little one grows up. Ask your child to dress up like you, your partner, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle, and see what he/she comes up with. For this, you will naturally need to keep aside some essential items like eyeglasses, sunglasses, old phones, wallets with some real money, old handbags, junk jewellery, and so on. Your munchkin can also dress up like a pirate, a Disney character, or anything else that steals his/her fancy.
- Setting up a restaurant – If you are eager to give your child a taste of the real world in a playful way, then there is nothing like this game. Ask your little one to create an imaginary restaurant and give it a fun name. He/she can draw what the restaurant will look like on a drawing sheet, and colour it as well. Also, ask him/her to create menus with the names of starters, main courses, desserts and drinks along with their prices. They can colour and decorate these menus any way that they wish!
- Charades – Kids can’t help but love charades! This game is fast and tests their imaginative nature in a fun way. For small children, words like “reading”, “sleeping”, “eating”, “flying”, can be written on small pieces of paper and kept all together in a bowl. If your kids are older, you can use words like “pirate”, “king”, “teacher”, “doctor”, “driver”, and so on. Names of objects, games and animals can be used as well.
- Having fun with craft sticks – Available in myriad bright colors and sizes, craft sticks or Popsicle sticks are a fun and no-mess way to indulge in imaginative games. They are quite cheap too and easily replaceable. Check out these cool ideas with craft sticks –
- Your little one can play indoor hopscotch after creating the traditional frame with these sticks. Then you can encourage him/her to change the framework as per his/her imagination by changing the position of the sticks.
- Creating a two-dimensional indoor city with craft sticks is also a great idea. Encourage your kid to create roads, bridges, houses and trees with the sticks, and then bring out his toy cars or toy humans and animals and start playing.
- Craft sticks can also be intelligently used to create puppets. Ask your child to draw different animal heads on craft paper and cut them out. These can then be stuck on the ends of these sticks to make the puppets. Your little one can also put up a show with these puppets to further enhance his thinking skills. Another alternative is to simply give him/her enough Popsicle sticks and ask to create any object that they can think of. It will be fun to see the ultimate result!
- Why not let your children learn some hands-on mathematics or fun counting? With craft sticks, they can understand that one stick equals the number 1; two sticks equal the number 2, and so on. Your little munchkins will learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division easier this way.
Apart from the games mentioned above, you can try out some other fun things. Ask them to think of an alternate ending to a favourite fairytale, put on a show with friends or cousins, imagine himself as a mouse, or imagine what would happen if toys could speak! There are no limits!