We spend lots of times talking about how reading to your child improves their chances of success in life. You can probably see the effect it has on their vocabulary and thinking. But what about other, less measurable skills? Reading to your child has tons of benefits in developing their creative thinking and imaginative problem solving skills. Learn how bedtime stories are a vital tool in your child’s arsenal of vital life skills, including the development of imagination and creativity.
Bedtime Stories and Imaginative Play
There is an adage that a child’s job is play, and this is very true. Through play children learn to explore the world and examine complex concepts and ideas that they will eventually adopt into their morality and world view. Bedtime stories can be a vital tool in encouraging this imaginative play.
Consider: when you read your child a story like Where the Wild Things Are, you are setting them off on an imaginative journey, and they might later pretend to engage in the wild rumpus alongside Max. When you expose them to Superman stories, they might later imagine themselves to be a superhero. When you read to them about Winnie the Pooh, they could imagine themselves into the Thousand-Acre Wood to play with those creatures.
Practice Makes Perfect
Creativity and imagination are skills that can be improved with use, just like any skill. The more variety to which you expose your child, the more they will explore their own twists and takes on stories. Eventually, they will likely begin making up their own stories and ideas. Make sure that you spend time every day reading imaginative stories to them, and also provide them with the tools they need to explore those ideas.
Children need a space to play. They need toys, tools and props to engage their imagination. Most of all, they need a source for ideas. This means that you should surround your children with books as much as possible. Give them a variety of literature styles to explore and enjoy. Give them time to engage in play and the privacy to do so without feeling self-conscious.
eBooks and Imagination
Kids live in an interactive world. They are steeped in technology and interactive play in the form of apps, videogames and interactive eBooks. Don’t shy too much away from these—they’re part of a child’s experience in our society.
Encourage them to explore interactive eBooks and observe how they engage with the stories, the images on screen and the sound of the voices. eBooks can be an important part of your child’s literary upbringing, and you should encourage their use even as you take the time to read to your child.
There is a whole world of free interactive eBooks out there to get you started. We are happy to offer a library of these experiences. Take some time to explore our eBook offerings and other early literacy tools we have to offer.