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Reading and playing can increase your child's imagination

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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 am, Fri Aug 15, 2014.

(BPT) - Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” It’s a pretty amazing statement when you consider just how much knowledge Einstein possessed. Today’s world always has a spot for creative, imaginative people. Whether they are designing the next dot com or the latest menu sensation, imaginative people are thriving everywhere.

So how can you help to strengthen your little one’s imagination and ensure they are as creative as possible? From analog to the digital, there are more fun, innovative ideas that can foster imagination than ever before. The following tips can help you grow your child’s imagination while creating some enjoyable, long-lasting memories along the way.

* Create the scene. Playing dress-up doesn’t have to be exclusive to tea parties. Encourage your child to dawn a costume and create a character based on that costume. The costumes can be lavish enough to include make-up or as simplistic as a new hat or mask. The important thing is that your child creates a new character or takes an existing character – depending on the costume – in a new direction using his or her imagination. Just make sure you dress up, too; this production needs a supporting cast.

* Travel with them to a faraway place. The genre-defining Skylanders video game series is best known for the innovation of bringing toys to life with games like Skylanders SWAP Force, Skylanders Giants and Skylanders Sypro’s Adventure. Now coming in October, Skylanders Trap Team, will continue to expand the bounds of your child’s imagination with an all-new adventure that reverses the magic of bringing toys to life and enables kids to pull characters out of the digital world into the physical world.

With Skylanders Trap Team you and your child have the opportunity to play together to seek out and defeat the most wanted villains in Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in magical Traps. Players can then send villains back into the game where they play as them in the fight for good.  You’ll enjoy exploring and working together to capture each villain and you’ll see your child’s imagination grow as the gameplay options expand.

* Encourage ad-libbing during story time. Reading to your child is a great way to strengthen their love of books and their reading comprehension skills. If you want to grow their imagination as well, make reading more interactive. Before you flip the page, ask your child what they think will happen next. They’ll create the story in their own mind and the answers may amaze you.

* Give them room to make their masterpiece. Art is one of the easiest ways to allow your child to develop their imagination. Create an environment that supports their artistic interests by setting aside space for a mini-studio. Make sure to include paints, crayons, markers and a big roll of paper to serve as their canvas. Line the area with newspaper because even the most determined little artists still make a mess from time to time.

* Take time to explore. These warm-weather months are the perfect opportunity for that nature hike or trip to the park. Turn the trip into an expedition by asking your child to create their own archeological adventure. This will make the warm-weather journey more enjoyable for both of you.

A child’s imagination opens their mind to limitless possibilities and no matter where their imagination takes the two of you, you’ll enjoy spending the time together.

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