February 2015 - The Learning and Play Place

February 2015
Nurturing imagination in a child is vital
because it promotes problem solving
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skills needed to become a successful
adult. In order to encourage imaginative play, adults need to step back and
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let them explore with little expectations
of the outcome. Children learn so much 15 16 17 18 19 20
from trial and error, from engaging
their senses, and learning techniques to 22 23 24 25 26 27
help them stray from their lines of
If you think about the mind as a grassy field, and the pathways that
thoughts make in the mind as pathways through the field, and you
only take the same pathways every day, soon the less used ones become grown over and forgotten. Using simple games, you can keep
your child’s pathways not only open, but increasing in number. As
adults, they will be better at problem solving and less apt to give up
at the first sign of failure, because they realize that there are more
possibilities, or pathways, to take.
Boosting Your
Boosting Your
Give them an arsenal of art mediums to work with such as foam,
pipe cleaners, colored pencils, paper punches, stickers, glue, glitter,
or any other little bits you can think of. Don’t give them any direction, just let them go. Usually the first time, they have no idea what
to do, and might draw a picture and stick a piece of foam on it, but
over time, the projects that come out of their minds are amazing!
Full sculptures, hats, masks, and anything else you can think of!
They not only get to exercise that imagination of theirs, but they
learn that if something doesn't turn out the way you want it,
...CON’T PG 2
The Learning and Play Place FAMILY NEWS
February 2015
The Learning and Play Place FAMILY NEWS
Page 2
It’s A Small World
Pack your suitcase, grab a map and get ready for an adventure around the world.
Children will weave a carpet, make a drum, and build their own version of the Great
Wall of China. They will explore world wonders and then find beauty in their own
backyards. Each child will have a passport to collect memories in this celebration of
global diversity.
Letters: G, K, P
Numbers: 6 & 16
Shape: Heart
Color: Red
but they learn that if something doesn't turn out the way you want it, it's okay to start
over and try it a different way. It’s this thinking that promotes imagination and problem solving skills.
Shared StoriesIf you have more than one school-aged child, or you are a teacher, daycare provider,
or you just want to sit down and remember how fun it is to be a kid, this is a perfect
brain boosting project. First, give every child a blank piece of paper and a pencil. If
you are doing this one-on-one with your child, you get a piece, and your child gets a
piece. Set a timer for fifteen seconds. During that time, have the children draw a picture or start a story. When the timer goes off, everyone must stop what they are doing and hand their paper to the left. Set the timer again, and it’s time to either continue the story or picture you have been passed. Repeat this until every person has the
original story or picture that they started. If you are doing this alone with your child,
pass it back and forth five times before stopping. Read the stories to each other, or
discuss the pictures. Another version of this game that’s perfect for road trips or camp
fires is to have one person start a story, and take turns adding one sentence at a time.
These exercises help children learn to break out of the box and expand their thinking.
· Picture ConnectionsAnother imagination booster is called Picture Connections. Open a magazine and take
out three random pictures that aren't connected at all, and then post them on the wall,
or in a place where your child (ren) can see them. Give your child(ren) a few minutes
to come up with a story that strings the pictures together. Come up with your own story as well. After writing them down, share stories, and talk about them.
It's amazing how far a child's mind will stretch when you loosen up the traditional control of exact directions and teach them how to think on a more expansive level. The
world is magical to them, and it's our job to teach them how to hold on to that for as
long as they can. Children who have developed the skills learned in these exercises are
also much less stressed out when they are faced with an obstacle. Instead, they're
more relaxed and have a bigger sense of accomplishment when they get excited about
something they came up all by themselves.
The Learning and Play Place FAMILY NEWS
February 2015