IMAGINATION - The word itself makes people start imagining. It has no limits. You start imagining by playing pretend games right from when you are a toddler.

As a little girl I used to sit under the bed and make my doll house in there. There was plenty of room under the bed. I had a school, dance stage, jungle and everything inside my house. I used to have one doll and had endless conversations with her. Imaginations used to extend with friends on play dates. During those times imaginations used to limit to playing.

Now a days imagination is encouraged in school and as a part of education at home as well. Parents and teachers have taken it as a subject for the overall development of a child. Imagination is like an experience of the part the kid is trying to play or the scene that he/she is trying to enact. If the child is playing 'school' and enacts the role of the teacher he/she will understand what it takes to be a teacher. It is an experience. This has to be encouraged in them and more and more roles have to be put forward to them. Likewise ask them to be doctor, fireman, police or the jobs parents do. They might one day know what they want to be in life.

As a teenager, imagination sure will take kids places like USA Australia Europe. Also at this time such imaginations start to collide with reality. Kids start to understand which things are possible and not possible. But imaginations make them think big and aim higher.

Here are some Imagination Games for a toddler/preschooler:
1) Run a grocery store: This will help kids learn names of food items, understand how a store functions, counting etc.

2) Imagine shapes in clouds lying on grass in the garden

3) Make sentences: Write words on a set of cards. Pick a card and make sentences. This will improve the vocabulary of the kid.

4) Drawing: Give the kids a topic for drawing and let them use their imagination to create it.

5) Playdoh: You will find colorful playdohs in the market now. Give little to the kid everyday to make different shapes or things. Help them make simple things like cakes, snakes, turtles with them and they will understand how it works.

6) Building blocks: This is the best way to keep a child busy and also let the imagination grow. Blocks help them understand shapes and how a structure should be built and made strong.

Some Imagination games for age 6-10:
1) Run a Pizza corner: This will include customers ordering pizzas, people for making them and cashiers. Kids will understand responsibilities, create new ideas to get things done faster and team work.

2) How Bank works: Take the kids to a Bank with you. Explain why you are there and what work the bankers do. Enact the same at home and see how much they have understood.

3) What am I: Make up riddles about animals things or great people. Kids should try recognize them.
Like for a elephant you can say " I have long nose and I am very large"

4) What would happen if?: Ask kids abstract questions and let their imaginations flow for the answers. Like "What would happen if aliens come on earth?"
 "What would happen if dinosaurs returned?"
"What would happen if we could fly like birds?"

5) Outer space: Aliens is a topic still open and unknown. This is the best topic to help imagination grow.

Do not get too intrusive while the kids are playing these games. Give them space and freedom. Let them manipulate and enhance their skills. Encourage a healthy development.

One of my kids creative imagination...

She said "3 2 1 Blast off" after making this. It was a Rocket!

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