Halloween is lurking just around the corner. It’s the time of year when children (and some adults) must make a serious decision: What costume to wear? Superhero? Villain? Mythical creature? Literary character?
But children don’t have to wait for October 31 to imagine they live in a land far away or that their help is needed to fend off pirates. Instead, they can explore exotic lands or be the hero who saves their ship at their local playground all year round.
Children love the magical world of make-believe. It provides the very foundation for how they play. Pretend play, which is when children role-play and act out various experiences, helps promote opportunities for imaginary escapes.
We adults sometimes dismiss the value of imaginative play. But such activity is vital to help children connect and make sense of the world around them. It contributes to kids’ cognitive, social and language skills as they role-play, make up stories and adventures, and invent endless possibilities for fun. Helping young children learn practical life skills such as cooperation and sharing is a loving, life-long gift to them.
How do you nurture the imagination of the children you care about?