Would it surprise you to learn that encouraging your child’s imagination and creative thinking is likely to have a greater impact on their future learning than knowing letters and shapes before school? It is also great fun.
Young children tend to be curious, have great imagination and enormous creative capacity. These are valuable qualities that support learning in school and throughout life, and should be nurtured from an early age.
Over the past decade, there seems to be increased pressure for children to build formal literacy and mathematical knowledge at an earlier stage, for example, to learn letters and sounds, colors and shapes, facts and figures.
While the intent is to support learning and successful transition to school, evidence suggests that a narrow focus on teaching such skills too early is not the best approach.
Why is imagination important in child development?
Imagination supports learning and the acquisition of knowledge. It does this in two ways. Children draw on their imagination in play to revisit prior knowledge and experience (e.g. a day at the beach, visiting a relative in the hospital). This, in turn, expands their knowledge and understanding of these experiences.
Check out this article on how you and the families you serve can help build a child's imagination.