Children start out full of creativity and imagination, and parents can help nurture it as they develop and grow. Play these games with your children to keep their minds active and alert:
- Costume play. Encourage games of dress-up. Keep old clothes, hats, and scarves around so your kids can put on a play or pretend to be grown-ups. This lets them try out different roles and express their ideas freely.
- Art gallery. Dedicate a section of your home (not just the refrigerator door) to your kids’ art. Display their pictures and sculptures, rotating them from time to time. You can even hold a “gallery opening” for your relatives or your kids’ friends, serving cheese and juice, to reinforce children’s pride in their talents.
- Story building. Collect some random objects around your house and ask your child to make up a story around them. Or gather a group of children, give them one item each, and have each one add a sentence to the story about the object he or she is holding. Switch items often to keep the game going.
- Forts. It’s a time-honored game, but one that stimulates the senses: Have your kids build a fort using blankets, sheets, and pillows. They’ll learn to solve problems like keeping a roof up and designing doors for easy entrance and exit.
- Scavenger hunt. Write up a list of simple household goods—some common, others relatively obscure. Have kids team up to hunt down every item. This encourages teamwork and analytical thinking (“Where would I find a typewriter ribbon?”).