Creativity and imagination are our innate qualities to create something original and new. Every individual is born with this potential, but in order to use this potential, the family must first create an environment for the child to use this potential. Children can use their innate creativity if parents provide the opportunity to experience experiences that suit the child’s individual characteristics.
In children, the development of play progresses in parallel with the emergence of imagination and creativity. From infancy to the first two years, children’s games involve movements based on stages in their physical development. During this period, children play games focused on movement with intense energy. These games are extremely important in terms of supporting muscle development and balance-coordination skills. Around the age of 2-3, when their mental and language development reaches a certain maturity, their abstract thinking skills develop and they begin to play imaginary games. The first examples of imaginary play are based on imitating the routines that the child observes in daily life. At the age of 3-5, these games are replaced by imaginary games with highly creative features. In games in this period, children can imagine using an object that is used in real life for a completely different purpose in the game. What they observe in real life merges with the imagination of the children and the games are enriched. These are the first steps of the stages of imagination and creativity development. And if we give children the opportunity to create their own games, we give them the opportunity to develop their own creativity and imagination.
Providing opportunities for children to learn from their own perspectives, providing different opportunities for them to see and develop their own skills and potential, supports their creativity and imagination. By doing daily chores together, parents provide this opportunity. The point to be considered when sharing daily chores is to give up on perfectionism. It is necessary to take into account the age of the children and the fact that they do many things “new”. Give your child a voice and the opportunity to choose. They will develop their skills by trying and making mistakes. In summary; Give children the opportunity to learn by living, experiencing, and daring to try.
Play is very important for the development of imagination and creativity. Make sure to set aside time for play every day because imaginary play also increases academic success. Allow your children to have different ideas and constructs while playing games. Respect any ideas that seem strange to you. Don’t get discouraged unless he’s trying something to physically harm him or others. Let him search and find it himself. Children have an endless sense of discovery and curiosity. Satisfy his curiosity as much as possible. Provide information, resources and materials to help him explore new areas. Support them on how to plan ahead in games or situations they encounter. Try to allow natural processes to avoid situations that are constantly planned and organized for them. Make time for free play and open-ended activities.
The fact that parents sometimes add things that are not actually toys to the game and encourage their children to imagine has an effect that can improve their imagination. Anything can be a toy. Guide him to build games with different materials and items. Playing, working on art and doing various verbal and visual activities positively support his imagination development. Parents being a part of these activities and making dough, clay, paint, etc. Exploring various methods of using materials together positively affects the social, emotional and mental development of the child.
The child’s desire to learn, whose imagination is alive and in development, should be supported. Children learn and nurture from fairy tales and stories. Books and stories should be in their lives from the moment they are born, because language development begins in the womb long before they can speak. While reading stories and playing games, you can make him question what he reads by asking “If that happens…” questions. Together, you can find different endings for the stories and evaluate these different endings together. This will pave the way for them to produce different alternatives and increase their creativity.
Imagination is a skill that directly affects problem solving ability. Children who dream, differentiate and think creatively display a more productive attitude in dealing with problems both in childhood and in adult life. Children whose imagination and creativity are supported are the keys to a hopeful future.