CREATIVE THINKING & IMAGINATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Imagination is the door to possibilities. It is where creativity, ingenuity, and thinking outside the box begin for child development. Imaginative and creative play is how children learn about the world. During imaginative play, children manipulate materials, express themselves verbally and non-verbally, plan (intentionally or unintentionally), act, interact, react, and try different roles. Great opportunities for learning are possible when children participate in creative play with dolls, vehicles, blocks, rocks, cardboard, or boxes. Employing creative thinking while manipulating play dough, creating recipes by mixing dirt and water, working with art materials, splashing in puddles, or pretending to fly can further child development.
Imagination fosters cognitive and social development. Everyone wants to raise children who reach their highest intellectual and social/emotional potential. In early childhood education, critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving abilities are goals for children’s development. Imagining, trying new ways of doing things, and experimenting help develop critical thinking in children and foster creative problem solving. Furthermore, imagination builds social-emotional development by allowing children to contemplate different resolutions, thus boosting children’s confidence, which can be used in interactions with others. Imagination and creativity are also skills that our children will need when they join the workforce of the future.