Helping your children foster a rich world of imaginary play can give them a host of tools they will need to become successful, creative adults. From better interpersonal skills to critical thinking skills, creative play provides the foundation your kids need to become happy, healthy adults. Here are five creative games to encourage imagination.
Playing dress up may seem like it is something that only little girls do, but you can encourage your boys to dress up as well. Hit the clearance racks after Halloween for cheap costumes that you can put in a chest for your kids to dig through. Look for costumes of different occupations, such as firefighters, doctors, and police officers. Using an old curtain or blanket, you can create theater drapes to set a stage for your youngsters. Let them dress up in the costumes they like the best and have them put on a play for you. This type of impromptu imaginary play is a great way to encourage creativity.
Build an Art Gallery
Go beyond regular arts and crafts activities and ask your kids to help you build an art gallery. Choose an area of your home that you will display the art and hang white butcher paper to create the gallery. Your kids can then create masterpieces that will be shown at the gallery. Invite cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles over to see the artwork, and of course, serve some grape juice and cheeses to your guests. Your little artists can talk about what inspired their latest creations. Be sure to take lots of pictures to capture the event.
Build Your Own Story
You can create the fun of Mad Libs for your kids by having them create their own stories from scratch. Use Popsicle sticks, post-its, or index cards and separate them into separate piles for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Have the kids choose words to put on each piece, and be sure to help them if they struggle to understand which category each word falls into. When they are all done, help your kids construct each sentence by randomly picking words from each pile-you should be ready to offer pronouns and other helping words to make each sentence flow properly. Once you have put four or five sentences together, read them out loud to hear the funny tales you have created.
Every child needs to build a fort at least once, so be sure to encourage this fun game. Collect large blankets, a few flashlights, some cardboard boxes, and a box of small snacks and surprise your kids with all the tools they need to create an awesome fort. You’ll be amazed at the problem-solving skills kids learn when trying to build a fort with a good, sturdy roof.
Scavenger hunts can be arranged for kids ages 4 and up. Come up with a list of clues and hide some items that match the clues throughout the house and back yard. At the end of the hunt, there should be a prize, such as a small treat or a toy from the dollar store that your kids can “win” for a job well done. They will love looking for hidden treasure, and they will have to strap on their thinking caps to come up with the answers to each clue.
Use these five creative games to encourage imagination and help your kids learn skills while having a great time playing. None of these activities will cost a lot of money to put together, and your little ones will have a blast with each game.