If you ever suspected your young builder is living in (or maybe even came from) another world, it’s very likely true. At this age, the mind is wide open, full of curiosity and fearless exploration. The world is not yet a fixed place in time or space, and there are no set expectations for what the world can be like now or in the future.
Imaginary things, friends and worlds feel just as real as the real life ones. Don’t have a race car? Use chairs to make one! Don’t have a castle? Build one out of a box or even better LEGO® DUPLO! Need an extra character for your role play story? The teddy bear suddenly gets a voice of his own!
Imagination feeds the desire to create. To turn our ideas into reality or try to change reality. As adults, we often limit ourselves to what we have learned can and can’t be done. Your child’s cardboard box is not a fortress, but you can see it as a small step towards turning ideas into tangible solutions to an imminent need. The creative thinking and problem solving skills your child learns from turning everyday objects into new things can be used to solve bigger challenges, problems, and needs later in life.
One of the best things you can do to nurture your own and your child’s imagination is to keep fearlessly exploring new “what if’s” – by yourself, and as a family. We find it natural that our children can’t do things perfectly the first time, so we encourage them to keep practicing. Allow yourself to do the same. Have fun making up completely unrealistic scenarios – it’s your story, go wild! If you fail at new things, just try again. Dare to believe in your ideas – and your child’s, and try out imperfect new solutions without expecting a certain outcome.