Theorist Lev Vygotsky studied children’s development and he created many theories, one of which is the theory of creative imagination. Creativity and imagination has been found to improve individuals social skills, problem solving and their learning and development as it is a fundamental part of life.
The importance of creativity and imagination
Nurturing creativity and imagination can open a mind field of doors with possibilities to enhance learning and development. It can be noticed in child initiated play when they choose what and how to play with resources which are readily available.
- Social interactions and emotional development is promoted through working cooperatively to solve problems, testing boundaries and sharing ideas in a safe environment. Children’s social interactions can develop as they learn through play experiencing different emotions while they complete experiments.
- Motor skill development is practiced during creativity and imaginative play, children need to manipulate objects and resources using their developing muscles. When children create opportunities for themselves like practicing big moves such as jumping it supports their muscles memory and gross motor development to then allow the children to find the activity easier with practice.
- Cognitive development is aided, this occurs when children complete creative and imaginative activities that make memories. The memories then support the children’s developing brain to help them find solutions to process data and situations.
Nurturing Creativity and encourage imagination
- Open ended toys and resources– this includes Arts and crafts, construction blocks and lego, cuddly toys, playdough, sand, water and whiteboard or blackboard with resources. Open ended resources and toys can be used in multiple ways and require little intervention. Children can imagine and create different learning opportunities for themselves through open ended resources and they are used in many early years settings.
- Acting on children’s ideas can provide children with confidence and support their understanding of the world. When Children feel valued, respected and listened to they become happier and more likely to explore their creativity and imagination as they will feel safe. Acting on children’s ideas shows them that anything can be possible, asking children questions about their ideas can encourage deeper concentration to create new ideas and explore their thoughts.
- Songs and Books hold information that can be interpreted in different ways by the way that it has be portrayed. If someone reads a book in a cheerful voice to the children it gives the impression that it is a happy story, Children can create or recreate stories using dressing up clothes, drawings and puppets.
- Outdoors and Down time are both important as it provides a chance for children to gather their thoughts and project them into clarity. The outdoors gives opportunities such as learning about the world and nature as it is ever changing. Being outdoors is promoted for children’s development and many places have an outdoor learning lesson or take on a forest school approach to learning which is an initiative.
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