By: Lauren O’Brien
In honor of Halloween, this month at Gymboree Play & Music we are focusing on building confident learners through IMAGINATION!
Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Encouraging your child’s imagination fosters cognitive and social development, which helps them build their critical thinking skills — an important element of early childhood development. Imagination also builds social-emotional development by allowing children to create different resolutions, thus boosting children’s confidence, which can be used in interactions with others.1
Fortunately for parents, children often have great imaginations and creative visualization can come very easily to them; but there are still ways to help your child’s early development even further!
And, since Halloween is all about imaginary monsters, princesses and spooky creatures, it’s the perfect time of year to work on building that imagination! So, when your little one says a shark has eaten your leg or there is ice cream in that empty bowl…play along =)
Here are a few fun and easy Halloween IMAGINATION activities:
- Leaf People: Collect fall materials like leaves, sticks, acorns, and pine cones and make a fall collage, a leaf-man or whatever your child’s imagination creates!
- Pumpkin Painting: This allows your child to get a bit more imaginative than carving because there are no knives involved!
- Pumpkin Faces: Grab some white paper plates, orange paint, black paper (for the eyes and mouth), and paint brushes to create pumpkin face masks!
- Styrofoam Spiders: Just a styrofoam cup, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and markers to make silly (or creepy!) spider decorations.
- Hand Print Trees: Draw your child’s handprint on some construction paper, use brown paint for the trunk and branches (wrist and fingers) and then glue some fall-colored tissue paper on for the leaves.
MUSICAL ACTIVITIES: Turn up the stereo volume, get out some instruments and bust out those dance moves. Let your child freestyle dance and/or play some instruments (like maracas) to whatever beat they hear!
OTHER IMAGINATION ACTIVITIES:
- Halloween Treats: Take those imaginations to the kitchen! Make some fun halloween treats.
- Build a Fort: Turn a fort into a haunted house!
- Dress up: Who doesn’t love some creative dress-up?
- Free Play: Allowing your child unstructured playtime provides them time to truly use their imagination!