There is a whole big world out there filled with magic and adventure. I don’t know about your family but we have not been able to see all of the corners of the earth and beyond. However we have found a way to ignite our imagination and explore more than I ever thought possible.
Now for the best news. You can have this same experience in your own home.
Grab your kids, a blanket, turn off your phone and open a book. The world is yours.
Most parents have heard time and time again that you need to spend time everyday reading with your kids to help them learn to read. I agree. Reading is a vital skill, if you can read you can do anything. Sometimes I think we get tied up in the learning of concepts and developing skills that we forget about the experiences. The exploring. The imagination. The childhood fun.
Books are magical and can send you to far off places, teach you about people you have never met and conquer challenges that you have not faced. Frequent reading teaches your kids how to dive into an alternate reality. They learn how to transform their surroundings and take control.
Imagination and childhood often go hand in hand but can reading really bring that spark of imagination that I want for them? My answer is yes it can. As I write this post my kids are busy in the backyard jumping over lava as they run away from The Big Bad Wolf and wait for The Lion to come and save them. Why does my four year old think a Lion will save him? Aslan. Aslan will come and help because its finally spring. If you are unsure of what book I am referring to it is from “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” of the The Chronicles of Narnia. Which just so happens to be my favorite story to ignite imagination. Its beautiful, if you haven’t read it yet, you might just want to.
Reading fills young minds with idea’s and concepts for them to explore and test. They will hear stories that will resonate with them and ones that they will want to reenact over and over again. A good story will push their imagination, challenge their thoughts and become a part of who they are. They might even meet one of their very best friends within the pages of a beloved story. I cannot tell you how many times there has been a massive Heffalump Hunt at my house with a Mr. Christopher Robin.
What adventures lie on the pages of black and white or the colorful pages of picture books? Words can simply be words but when the words jump off the pages and become real that’s when imagination takes off! Sometimes I like to just sit back and observe where the kids take the stories. Other times I like to ask them questions. Questions let me enter into their world and can also further help them interact with the imagination. Ask them what they would do if their oar broke? What is in the forest? Where is the treasure? Don’t stop at once question if they are interested but don’t turn your questions into an interrogation. Its a delicate balance but follow your child’s lead and you will be amazed at what you unlock.
The world is yours! Grab a book and let your imagination take over.
Of course reading is only one of the ways that you can help your children to spark their imagination. Follow this roundup of amazing posts at Fil-Am Teacher Mommy and I am certain you will find a new strategy to use in your home.