We love to celebrate imagination at Goldfish Swim School – and we love when you celebrate imagination at home, too! Here are 4 Ways to Get Your Kids to Be Imaginative:

1. Use your imagination together

Kids learn by example. They learn to eat their veggies when they see you eating your broccoli at dinner. They see you being kind or helpful. And the more your kids see you using your imagination, the more they’ll be inclined to do the same – and the more often you make the time available for it, the more opportunities they’ll have to be imaginative.

Need some ideas? Try these:

  • Make a scrap town. Take empty toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, construction paper and anything else around the house to make a town. Build trees from the toilet paper rolls and schools from the cereal boxes. Use painters tape to create roads around the town. You can also just let your kids be imaginative and come up with creations spontaneously.
  • Write and illustrate a story together. You don’t need to be an author or artist to create a book with your kids! Let them take the lead with the storytelling, but feel free to jump in with questions to help guide the story if needed. Prompt them to create the main character’s name, some sort of activity the characters are doing, and other details. Then, draw pictures!
  • Act out your own play. Or you can call this, “Let’s play pretend.” Have your kids decide on who each of you will pretend to be, where the “play” will take place, and do some improv from there. Are you a family of kings and queens going to a restaurant? A family camping in the woods in Alaska? The sky’s the limit!

2. Stop directing play time

Do you remember the days of yore, when we were kids and we had to entertain ourselves for hours on end? Nowadays, we have so much knowledge at our disposal so we try to teach and interact with our kids every second. Maybe some of us even feel like we’re being lazy if we just leave the kids to their own devices (and no, we don’t mean those electronic devices).

But here’s the thing: Letting kids play without you and without a specific project in front of them isn’t lazy. It’s allowing them to create their own playtime, and use imagination without limits.

Don’t feel like you have to schedule everything your kids do all day. Let them choose what they want to do – or, if you’ve thought of a project for them to create, let them have free reign with their imagination on how to complete it. We bet they’ll have a GOLDEN experience!

3. Institute creative time

Turn off screens for an hour a day – in the entire house (or for a half-hour on those super-busy days). If your littles are usually allowed some screen time while you’re making dinner, make it a point to have them do something creative without screens instead. There may be some grumbling at first (from the kids, too), but once you make creative time the new routine, everyone will know what to expect.

At first you may want to think of some ideas for them – but don’t assume they won’t know what to make or do right off the bat. Give them access to toys and supplies and just let them go. Dolls, action figures, musical instruments, CDs, art supplies, fort-making tools, books, building blocks…whatever!

4. Have an art cart

As parents, we’re pretty busy. It can be hard to plan out projects for the kids to do every day, and to dream up (and have all the supplies for) all those educational and fun creations you see floating around online. But why limit yourself to those structured projects, anyway?

Create your own art cart. Buy one of those carts on wheels that have a few different shelves on it – or make your own with pallets and casters, if you have the time and desire. Or designate a cabinet or shelving unit for your stationary art cart.

Use plastic bins or shoe boxes to fill with all the supplies your kids will need to make crafts during their creative time.

Include:

  • Construction paper
  • Markers, crayons, and colored pencils
  • Stamps
  • Stickers
  • Stencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A ruler
  • Felt squares
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glitter
  • Googly eyes
  • Paint, paintbrushes, a palette, a painting bib and an old sheet for the floor
  • Toilet paper rolls, paper plates and paper bags
  • Anything else your kids enjoy crafting with!

Try Goldfish Swim School

At Goldfish Swim School, we celebrate imagination every day! Our instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to teach kids as young as 4 months old how to swim – and have fun while doing so. Stop in a location near you and check out our WOW! customer service for yourself, then sign up your kids for swimming lessons. You’ll soon see the extraordinary results and why Goldfish Swim School is a fin above the rest!