Are We Endangering Our Child’s Imagination?

Wow, we are in the fairy world now! Let’s wave your hands to the fairies. There is a lot of fairies around you. Can you see them? Some are flying, some are having fun, dancing together and even baking. Can you smell strawberry shortcake?”

Then, the story continue for 2 minutes by the teacher. This is what Heguru Education practice in the programme which what we called Image Training. It encourage the children to get along and even they will join to make up the story.

Children’s desire to make up stories is an example of imagination. The child’s imagination always becomes the most underestimated skills.

“Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.”

Highlighted from the TED Talk given by an international expert in learning, Sir Ken Robinson. He argues that imagination is the “key driver of creativity and innovation” and helps children to “learn with a greater appetite”.

What Is Imagination?

Albert Einstein said, “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” One of the meanings of the word ‘imagination’ in the Oxford Dictionary is an ability to form new ideas or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. This definition also supported by Collin Dictionary which expands it to the things that you have not experienced or do not necessarily exist in real life. Reflect back on what Einstein said, it is no doubt that imagination is everything. It’s the ability of the mind to build mental scenes, things or events that do not exist, are not there or have ever happened.

The Power of Imagination

Imagination functions whether we are aware of it or not. Imagination is within us. It motivates or rather leads us to acquire much more knowledge. With reference to this, we are able to turned variety material into so many things, like a tree into papers, worms into silk, or even the square wheel into a circle. In other words, we wouldn’t have evolved into what we are today.

Imagination is the door to possibilities. In early childhood education, critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving abilities are goals for children’s development. It’s all possible to achieve through nurturing the child’s imagination. Has your child ever flown a car in your living room? Forged a peace treaty with aliens at midnight? Or open a fancy restaurant right out of your house? When your child has a strong imagination, they’re able to think of a situation, and then transform it into something different. It using only the power of the mind! This indirectly led to some super-fun playtime sessions for your child.

Based on researches, it cannot be denied that children who practice their imagination more tend to:

  • Be more joyful

    Since they’re better ready to engage themselves and less likely to become bored when left alone.

  • Have better social skills

    since pretending helps them to understand the minds of others, which is an important ingredient of successful social interaction.

  • Understand feelings

    since children can utilize imagination to innovative solutions to real-life problems, give an outlet to their feelings and boost confidence.

  • Think wisely

    since holding lots of things in mind simultaneously while imagining can boost brain skills like planning, focus, memory and logical reasoning.

  • Be more innovative

    since children who score exceedingly in innovativeness and fantasy play in primary school have a tendency to be more inventive through secondary school also.

Does Parents Kill The Child’s Imagination?

Without imagination, some of the world’s most famous inventions would not exist. How does one make something truly great without developing the idea of it first?

As an adult, it becomes easier to ignore the imagination, especially when confronted with the demands of reality on a daily basis. Adults may not even notice that they use their imagination on the everyday basis. A good example would be the use of imagination through reading a novel or planning for a new bedroom design. However, our children deserve the freedom to unleash their imagination and experience wonder in the world. Hence, they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no screen time for children 18 months and under (except for video-chatting). Children ages 18 to 24 months may be introduced to high-quality digital programming in a co-viewing setting. Kids ages 2 to 5 should be limited to one hour of media a day, also ideally alongside a parent. Children 6 and up should be given ‘consistent limits’ on time spent on media and the types of media consumed, but no time limit is specified for this age group. These are the new-guideline parents on children’s media use released by AAP.

Today, many children are over scheduled and are therefore using their imaginations less than ever. It’s a crisis in the making. As what Andrew, Children’s Author says, “Let them have a green sky and blue grass for as long as they can because then they’ll realize it’s OK to be a little bit interesting.” He emphasized that building child’s imagination really comes down to encouraging them to explore the world through their own eyes and to allow them to think their crazy thoughts without always correcting them if it’s not realistic.