Lead your kids into a fantastic world!
Lead your children into a fantastic world!
Whether princesses, witches, fairies or talking animals, children and adults alike have always been fascinated fairytale creatures.
Those kind of characters often play a big role in children's unlimited fantasy worlds. Children daydream of fairytale kingdoms, friendship, animals and nature, journeys and stage performances, regularly including characters from stories, television and reality into their fantasy world.
Fantasy is incredibly important for children's mental development. It promotes mental imagination, empathy, creativity and the ability to solve problems. Everything that children experience in a fantasy world helps them to deal with similar situations in the real world.
We have collected some simple methods that you can use to create fantasy worlds with your children and stimulate their imagination.
Painting and craft
Few activities give your children as much chance to let their creativity and fantasy loose as painting and doing crafts.
Your children can devise completely new worlds just by painting and drawing on a sheet of paper. Give your children a blank piece of paper and a pencil and let them try things out. Look forward to seeing the final product!
If your children can't think of anything to draw, try giving them a subject, for instance "draw your own underwater world" or "draw a journey to Africa".
Totally new objects can arise from doing crafts with simple materials such as paper, shoe boxes or food cans. Children learn how to use normal things from their daily life in a different way. It make them think in a new way and broadens their horizons.
Using materials from nature (chestnuts, leaves, stones, grass etc.) also boosts their imagination. Chestnuts can be used to make classic 'chestnut men' as well as all sorts of fantasy animals and creatures.
Your children needn't look for too long, everything in their vicinity can be transformed in fantastical beings. Everyday objects just have to seen through new eyes.
A good chance to open up new fantasy worlds for your children is also reading classic stories to or with your children. Read your children's favourite story with them, or read it out loud for them. Put yourself in the role of the character in the book and use a different voice for the dialogue. Then your children can submerge into the storybook world and forget everything else going on around them.
Modern stories about rockstars and travel but also classic fairytales with princesses, fairies and talking animals are ideal. Illustrations in the book can further boost your children's imagination and lead your children on a journey into the fantasy worlds.
Create your own dream worlds
Encourage your children's own fantasy and let them invent their own stories! Your children can include any characters, wishes and situations that they can imagination in their own worlds and adventures. This is a perfect idea for at home as well as anywhere else.
All you need to do is decide on a basic plot with your children:
- Who is the hero of the story?
- Where does the story take place?
- What happens in the story?
If your children get stuck, you can help them by asking more questions. Ask things like "What did the hero do then?", "What did the princess say then?" and "What happens next?". Your children will find it gradually easier and easier to tell the story further, eventually without you having to ask any questions.
You can let your children invent stories when you are not at home as well.
Take a seat on a park bench for example and watch the people passing by. Then make up stories about the people together with your children.
- Where are they coming from?
- Where are they going?
- What were they doing before?
- What are they going to do now?
Begin making up the story yourself! Your children will start to get more involved and also let their fantasy run free. You will see how much fun your children, and of course you as well, have making up stories. This kind of storytelling also works on long train or car journeys and is a perfect way of passing the time with your children.
A walk in the (fairytale) woods
You can discover all sorts of interesting things when walking in the woods, another wonderful stimulation for your children's imagination. Did your children know before that elves and fairies dwell in trees and toadstools are home to trolls?
Every gust of wind or flutter of a blade of grass or a leaf are signs that the magical creatures are not far away. But they are also very timid beings that only very rarely show themselves to humans.
You can also tell amazing stories about the animals that live in the woods. Who knows? The rabbit that just hopped across the path might be on its way to the daily animal meeting, just like the slug that is slithering along. The fly that is buzzing through the air might just want to find out the latest news about where we humans live so that it can tell the other animals at the meeting.
Let your imagination go wild and give your children lots of little suggestions! Soon enough your children will be making up stories about the plants and animals they see along the way and will be overflowing with crazy ideas.