How to develop imagination in children
Imagination is the source of all human achievement ‘,
Sir Ken Robinson
Imagination in children is vital to successful learning. You can improve pupils’ learning outcomes by fostering their innate imagination. Pupils with good imaginations can advance their all-round cognitive development and progress in all areas of the curriculum. With writing especially, children with strong imaginations are more likely to become confident writers. So, imagination is an essential part of the learning process.
‘the cultivation of imagination should be the chief aim of education” Mary Warnock
Imagination gives learning a meaningful platform for pupils. Contexts, themes or ideas that matter to children can build their motivation to learn. It also helps them take them ownership over their own learning journeys. In particular, learning that is built over time and in collaboration with pupils works best. It develops independence skills and positive learning attitudes so learning is more memorable. Simply ‘delivering’ learning to children is not the best way to ensure progress.
Creativity and problem solving are key life skills to develop in pupils. Imagination can help pupils come up with innovative ideas that let them see beyond the norm and reality. Pupils who have a limited imagination may struggle with these areas of life. And they may find it hard to master many aspects of the school curriculum.
How to develop imagination in children
Here are some ways to develop imagination in your school:
Imaginative play and drama based activities will help children explore the world around them and the people in it. Imagination also develops neurological connections in pupils’ brains through moving around using their senses and muscles. Children can delve into imaginative worlds based on the experiences that they see around them. This helps young pupils make sense of their reality and learn how to communicate with others. Read more about the importance of imaginative play for child development in this article in Psychology Today.
Reading books and hearing stories inspires pupils’ imaginary games by capturing their imagination. Adventures, characters and illustrations all play a part. Frequent reading sets the foundation of reading and learning skills for pupils. Through storytelling, we enable pupils to develop their vocabulary and communication skills. It can also enhance their understanding and empathy. As pupils move through their school career, imagination and interest in reading will allow them to participate in all subjects of the curriculum.
Think about paper cutting, origami, sewing, drawing, modelling, DT, art, dance, drama. These are aspects of a creative curriculum that will engage imagination in children. With creative activities, you can also improve fine motor skills and concentration. Older children really benefit from arts based learning. But whatever their age, escaping into other realities and away from everyday life is a big part of maintaining mental health. And it’s important for pupil well-being too.
Did you know that picture books, paintings, wall art and colourful images can inspire children to create their own stories? This is because they allow them to delve into a world of imagination. Images form the basis of visual storytelling, so you can use them to fill in the gaps with your pupils. A wall of pictures can transport pupils into a fantasy world, which would otherwise be hard for them to imagine. This can inspire and motivate them to learn. It can teach them something new and even direct their future pathways.
Here at Promote Your School we are kids at heart! We love nothing more than letting our imaginations run wild with schools’ walls. That’s why we’re committed to helping you build your pupils’ imaginations through Wall Art and we love what we do.