Kindergarten Readiness – Learning/Thinking Strategies #11

Instead of thinking about what adults can teach kids to help them with kindergarten readiness, I turned the question around and asked what can kids teach adults. I kept that perspective as I watched a little boy playing with some cars in the dirt and later a little girl building with wooden blocks. Each child was playing alone interacting with toys. But were they alone? No, each of them was with an entire world created in their own imagination.

imaginative-playImagination can be a powerful thinking and learning strategy. While we think imagination is for fantasy, it actually plays a vital role in reality. Not only that, but more than the brain is involved in imagining, parts of the body respond as well. For instance, in imagining a tall building the eyes go up, in imagining flying muscles in the arm move (Which part of the body does imagination come from? Nigel J.T. Thomas).

To encourage children to use their imagination, include play time in their day.  Pretend together and have some toys that have lots of potential — a cardboard box has lots of potential and so does a big old hat or an empty container. Have things that your child can see, hear, touch, taste and smell to stimulate all 5 senses. Reading books and telling stories also promotes imagination. Is there a way that you can provide some imagination time for your child today?

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