In a world full of articles on how to raise your children, social media telling you how to do this, and how not to do that, parents can get a little caught up on trying to be perfect. Sure, there is great advice out there, but here’s some food for thought:
If you constantly follow the “rule” book, how do you explore new things, develop new ideas, and find more efficient ways to do things? Imagination of course!
In today’s modern society, children have thousands of opportunities to thrive with complex toys, technology, activities, out-of-school activities and a full schedule of constant things to do. An increasingly talked about topic online is the idea that sometimes you just need to let your children be bored, and I think it’s a crucial skill to learn. According to an article in Psychology Today, “In many ways, boredom is a modern luxury (Spacks, 1996). Boredom was literally nonexistent until the late 18th century. It came into being as the Enlightenment was giving way to Industrial Revolution. Early in human history, when our ancestors had to spend most of their days securing food and shelter, boredom wasn’t an option.”
A great way to encourage imagination (and let your children work out how to be un-bored) is by letting them be with other children and providing simple toys with no exact “this is how you use it” options. Exploring Montessori and Steiner inspired education styles will show you that there’s plenty of reasoning behind letting children play by themselves and learn by playing.
Some of the biggest buzzwords in the toy industry at the moment are “critical thinking skills” and “encouraging independence” which both essentially mean the same thing, encouraging kid’s to solve their own problems, which is another reason why imagination is so important!
What are your thoughts on letting your kids explore their imagination? We would love to hear about it!