Stoking the fire: Imagination

Want some more tricks to add to your speech bag?  Then look no farther than your–and your child’s–imagination.  Having a healthy sense of imagination actually increases vocabulary.  Want to know what else it does?

  • Helps kids take control–they can practice skills, be anything they like (astronaut, doctor, or as my daughter said recently, “A therapy girl”)
  • Helps kids learn social skills and social rules like sharing, resolving conflicts, and taking turns
  • Helps kids learn to problem-solve…as they get older they will take  these skills to school and become better at negotiation and dealing with difficult situations because they have already “acted them out.” 

What’s a Parent to do: 

  • Read books–>find differnt types of stories to introduce your kids to.  Look for new titles at the library.
  • Share stories–>about your day, your childhood, whatever
  • Relish their artwork–>Hang it, frame it, whatever you have to do to let you know you think it’s a big deal.  A great book for teaching kids the value, uniqueness, and process of art is “Willow” 




 Willow (Picture Books)
Willow (Picture Books) by Denise Brennan-Nelson

  • Encourage pretend play and provide props–>real-life ones are best, so save those empty food containers and medicine bottles
  • Accept their imaginary friends–>they are actually good, developing creavitity, emotional competence, and fostering intelligence
  • Decrease computer time and TV time
  • Try not to worry too much about messes (I know, this is totally hard for me!)
  • Enjoy the off-beat–>so what if your kid’s a bit kooky at times?  Just make sure he knows what’s “home behavior” and “out-and-about” behavior

Just remember to have fun!!  Let us know what you do to stoke the fire at home.

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