Your imaginative child

What to expect at this age (3-4 years)

It should not surprise you at this time, a princess, a unicorn, batman or a tyrannosaurus rex to be found in your apartment. Children are by nature imaginative and the imagination of your kindergarten child is now blossoming. With the increasing verbal abilities of your child you are more and more initiated into this fantasy world.

Even if you could sit back and enjoy the fun, how about joining in now and then? The imagination of a kindergarten child grows by itself, but you can do a lot to kindle it. When you give your child new views, sounds, and experiences, you open up a larger world for him. Listen, when your child talks about his fantasy world and, if invited, join. And who knows? Maybe it does your own imagination too well.

How the Childlike Fantasy Works

Kindergartners have a penchant for abstract ideas. So the couch becomes a ship on the high seas and the toast becomes a telephone. Your child will also start imagining social games, such as: We are a ""cat family."" You should not be surprised if you take on the role of the helpless kitten and your child is that of the mother-cat ...

Why It's Important to Promote Imagination

An excited imagination can be useful to your kindergarten child in many areas :

Vocabulary Improvement.

Children who are read aloud, who play fantasy games or are told stories - or even tell stories - have a significantly larger vocabulary than others.

Take control.

In his imagination, your child can be whatever it wants to be. It can determine how situations run out. Tales of the little girl who defeats the witch or the boy who rescues the kittens from the sinking ship give the children the confidence and the strength to master unusual or frightening situations in real life.

Learn Social Rules.

Relationships with other people can be complicated at any age. When your child builds a castle of sand, sticks, and leaves in the sandpit with others, it not only enters a fantasy world, but operates in a complex world of rules that govern sharing, interaction, and conflict resolution.

Solve problems.

Daydreams of imagined situations help your child in real life to act creatively. A Case Western Reserve University study found that imaginative children tend to stay imaginative when they are older, and then better to solve problems.Tested later in life, early-adolescent children were much stronger when it came to tackling challenges or difficult situations.

How to inspire your child's imagination

Read books.

Reading stories from unknown countries and people together inspires your child's imagination. Books also help to expand the vocabulary and visual imagination (How can a child in his imagination sail a pirate ship if he has never seen one?).

With picture books, your child can explore visual details, invent stories and then ""read aloud"" themselves. When you read aloud, you often pause to explain the pictures and discuss with the child what's going on: ""Imagine how much Cat Findus was dreading when he got lost. ""Encourage your kindergartner to invent an own end to the story. Read about everything in our world, from beetles to jumbo jets, and explain the details of the things your child is most interested in.

Telling stories.

Her own invented stories are just as good for a child's imagination as reading aloud. Her stories will not only be adapted to your child's imagination, but will also give him the basis for inventing figures and actions. And making your child the hero of history can greatly enhance your self-confidence.

It will not be long and your child will invent stories and adventures. In fact, children of this age sometimes believe in their wildest stories because their sense of the limits of reality and fantasy is not yet so pronounced. Then play with it as long as it serves joy. If your child is frightening themselves (eg with a monster in the closet), you need to intervene and make clear what is real and what is not.

One more way: create stories together. For example while driving. Open with: ""Once upon a time there was a dog. He lived with a little girl and they liked to go to the park together. One day ... ""and now it's your child's turn. Let it invent the names, continue the story and invent the end.

Enjoying children's art.

For most kindergartners, experimenting with material is the most important part of art. If your child works with water, clay, sand, clay, paint, paper, buttons or anything else, you should respect the work. For a child, a piece of cardboard that sticks to paper can be enough. It does not want to hear: ""Your doll should look like this. "".

At this stage, too, pictures will consist mainly of turns on the paper. Children over the age of four then begin attempts to draw presentable motives. So, if your child paints, let them tell you about it instead of guessing what it is (your chances of guessing it are bad anyway, unless your child is a Rembrandt offspring).Instead of saying, ""What a beautiful house"" you prefer to say ""Great colors you have used! What is happening in the picture right now? ""

Making music.

Even if your child is too small for piano lessons, you can fill his world with music. Sing him children's songs and sing together. Listen to music together and encourage your sweetheart to dance or play a toy instrument. (Now you should have the video camera ready!).

Promote role playing games.

Support ""as if games"" such as dressing up or acting. Children learn a lot when they reenact real life. When your child thinks of a place, characters and situations (""I am the mother and you the sick baby!""), It playfully develops social and verbal skills. It will solve emotional issues when it comes to sad, happy, scary or safe situations.

If it sees itself as a superhero, horse or wizard, it can feel strong and feel what it means to take responsibility. In addition, an understanding of cause and effect occurs when the child imagines how you, a friend, or the cat would respond to specific situations. In these games, children also discover the world of discipline because they invent the rules, alone or with friends (the range of complicated rules that children invent often astonishes adults). Deploy


Towels become turbans, plastic bracelets become precious jewels, an old bath rug transforms into a flying carpet, and the old, moth-eaten collection of stuffed animals makes for the rainforest, an animal hospital or a farm.

Since preschoolers love to play the role of another - a parent, a baby, or perhaps a pet - a single object, such as a children's cash register or chalkboard, can be enough to ignite the imagination.

Since most of the story takes place in your child's mind, the most common props can be the best, while a detailed and fixed Batman costume or the like does not offer any possibilities at all.

Keeping a special box of trinkets makes the fantasy games even more interesting.

limit computer time.

A three-year-old should move and play rather than sit at the computer. At the end of kindergarten age at the earliest, you can let your child experiment with the computer. There is a lot of trash on the market, but also some good programs that are fun and where children can learn something. The Internet can also be a valuable source of new impressions - from the latest photos of Jupiter to the appearance of a coral reef. So you can bring your child new ideas and impressions from around the world.

Limit TV time.

As with computers, television is also true: less is more. Of course, there are great programs to learn something, such as animal programs or films about the lives of children in other regions of the world. These high quality programs should be recorded to play in due course. But do not overdo it.

""Movies and TV shows cut the budding imagination because they're the visualization for your child,"" says Michael Meyerhoff, director of Epicenter, a parenting center in Illinois. Limit the TV time to half an hour to a maximum of one hour per day. Resist the temptation to use television as an electronic babysitter, watch with your child, ask questions about the movie, and find out what your child is most interested in. In the nursery of a kindergartner neither a television nor a computer nor a game console have anything to look for!

How to deal with the imagination of a kindergarten child

Setting limits.

Setting up and enforcing rules - but not with the ""mallet"" - is absolutely necessary for all involved. But as long as possible, let your child live up a bit of his fantasy highs. If your dining table is just an igloo, take advantage of the variety and have a picnic on the floor. Your child has to accept that this is not always possible.

Accept imaginary friends.

Experts believe that an imaginary friend is a sign that a creative and social child has found a way to channel his fears and worries. There are studies that assume that up to 50% of all children eventually have an imaginary comrade.

However, if your child accuses his invisible partner of doing something that he himself has eaten, it's time for clarification. You do not have to accuse your child of lying, but you criticize the misconduct. Let your child, along with his fantasy friend, fix the mistake (clean up the victim, apologize, etc.) and make it very clear that the behavior was unacceptable.

Keep the chaos within limits.

Things that get messed up in fantasy games have to be cleaned up as well. Do not eliminate the chaos your child has caused. Not everyone can provide a building corner where they can work and do their thing to their heart's content. But a place to paint and for smaller tinkering can always be set up.

Some Curbing Strategies: Old shirts make awesome smears when you put them on the wrong way and cut off your sleeves, a plastic tarp under the construction site block protects the expensive rug and paper on the table prevents splashes of paint and glue.

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