Have you ever thought about the importance of imagination? Without it, we would have had dull lives, robbed of the magic and mystery of fantasy. Whether it was the tooth fairy, Father Christmas, elves in the garden or fire-spitting dragons, when we were little, we probably thought that these figures were real.
Without imagination writers, filmmakers, musicians and game developers could never have created new material. Or conjure up futuristic events. Many book or movie scripts have sparked ideas long before they have become part of our everyday lives. Who would have thought that we are about to step into driverless cars precisely like those we remember from old comic books? Or that the Internet of Things (IoT) would bring seamless comfort into our homes. We now can simply tell Siri to open the curtains while, at the same time, adjusting the aircon.
But we certainly don’t want our little ones to feel foolish or be disappointed one day. How do we make sure that they don’t think that they’ve been tricked? At the age of around 3 or 4, children start to question what they are told. If things do not make sense, it can become a confusing time for them. So, here are three TastyMoments-approved ways in which you can keep the joy and adventure of stories and games alive without having to explain later.
One Actor – Two Roles:
An excellent place to start is to pop a delicious Hawaiian Ital Pizza Thick’A into the oven. While it is baking, find two distinct movies which star the same actor in different roles. You can then explain that the actors are real people, but that they are pretending to be other people in the movies. Tell them that in this way, the characters can tell different stories or have supernatural powers which are not real. This kind of insight helps a child to develop critical thinking skills such as the probability of an outcome, which will help in case they thought they too could fly.
Ask Them To Imagine Something:
An excellent way to explain imagination is to ask them to tell you what they think the lions, elephants or hippos in the bush are doing right now. Or what they believe Granny might be doing. Then you can explain that they are only imagining what the animals or granny may be doing, but that might not be what is really happening.
Ask Them To Complete The Story:
Kids love dinnertime stories. You could begin by starting the tale and then asking them to imagine the ending. For example, choose the name of a dog they know and say her owners went off to the shops. Someone has left the gate open. The Fido has wandered off down the street. Now let them imagine how that story ended. Or pull a naughty face and tell them that the apples and bananas were dancing in the kitchen when you walked in to make breakfast. They will probably laugh and say it’s not true. In this way, they will come to realise that a person’s imagination can be amusing and rewarding, but also that some things are just not possible.
In short, we all need a balance of fantasy and reality to handle the world in the best way we can. Now, switch on a cartoon while you all polish off the last of the pizza. Bellisima!
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