Ideas to Stimulate Kids' Imaginations


"When I was little, we made paper bag suits out of plain, brown grocery bags. We would color bodies, clothes, and jewelry on them and cut out holes for our head and arms. We would wear them around and do some sort of make-believe game. It's a lot of fun!"

"Sometimes we change seats at the supper table and then you have to be that person. That is good to see how the kids view you."

"Have a backwards day! Figure out names backwards and call each other by them -- my sons 'werdna' and 'nevets' love this one. Watch a video-taped cartoon or a segment of "America's Funniest Videos" in reverse. Make pineapple upside-down cake. Play a board game, but start at the ending point. For 'Reverse Monopoly': All the properties are dealt out at the beginning. Split all the money in the bank, and put hotels on everything. If you land on something you own, you lose it to the bank, and must pay the bank for the hotel and the amount the property would cost to buy. Any additional rent money in the future goes into the bank. Pass GO and pay the bank $200. Community Chest card amounts are paid to the bank. When no one has any property left or everyone is out of money, the game is over."

"With a few basic items you and your children can pretend to be a variety of people. Invest in a set of walkie-talkies, plastic magnifying glasses, a pair of binoculars, some small notepads, mechanical pencils, crushable hats, backpacks, and sunglasses. With these items you can be soldiers, spies, police officers, private investigators, scientists, space explorers, and whatever else you have been reading about. With the addition of a few strategically placed stuffed animals, you could be on safari in Africa or India in your own backyard. With bandannas and broomsticks, you can be cowboys riding the range. We pack our backpacks with necessary supplies like binoculars, pencils, notepads, walkie-talkies, and disguises (hats) for playing spies. We have spent entire afternoons playing these pretend games. It's good quality time for you to spend together. And it's good for fostering speaking skills, thinking skills, etc. Plus, it's great for their imaginations because they think up what we're going to play."

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