How do we help grow a child's imagination (or our own)? According to Clay Clarkson, we all have the capability for imagination, although some may have more capacity for it.
We are all made in the image of God and, as such, have the ability to create, which includes using our imagination. We can feed imagination through excellent books, music, art, nature study, and more. But we also need to give our children time to exercise their own imagination.
As Clay Clarkson says:
From: http://www.storywarren.com/use-their-imagination/Part of your child’s creative nature is their imagination—the ability to conceive of things that are not physically present, that have never been seen, or that may or may not exist. And if that sounds a bit like faith, that’s not a mistake.The challenge for every parent is not just to feed a child’s imagination, but to expand it. Go back to the muscle analogy— you can feed your child all the proteins and nutrients their muscles need, but unless those muscles are used and exercised, they won’t grow. Children can passively consume what seems like creative food all day long, especially in our digital age, and yet never need to exercise an imaginative muscle. It’s very simple—if you want your child to have a strong imagination, make sure they exercise it.
Clarkson lists some 'back to basics' ideas for exercising the imagination. Although digital gadgets are fun and helpful, spending time regularly 'unplugged' is very important for healthy child development. He suggests finding time daily to do the following:
1. Draw something
2. Write something
3. Tell something (a story, narration, etc)
4. Show somebody what you are thinking about or working on.
Drawing and writing tools should be made easily available. Of course, sometimes parents need to be there to prompt or inspire, but often children just need some time set aside, and seeing a parent value these activities by joining in with their own projects is even better!
How do you inspire your or your child's God given imagination or creativity?