@ kidz & imagination

What's one of the all-time best gifts you could give your child? A box. Seriously! A large carton can become a spaceship, a grocery store, a car, a house. It can provide more hours of emotional, intellectual, and social stimulation than any fancy electronic toy.

Pretend play becomes more complex and interactive at 3. It's no accident that preschools have plenty of props — plastic tools, kitchen gear, blocks, dress-up clothes — for kids to pretend with.

Children learn by doing and imagining. When they pretend they're a police officer or parent, they have the freedom to explore at their own pace a world they're learning to navigate. They hold the power. They can express their emotions, punishing their pretend children as they've been punished. They learn to negotiate and solve problems (how to stop the bad guy or what to cook for dinner). They learn to walk in others' shoes, helping to develop empathy.

Creating stories about pretend characters encourages language development and abstract thinking. And being able to see that a belt could be a lasso or a block could be an iPod is a precursor to realizing that those symbols on the page are actually letters and words.

To encourage imaginary play, have a stash of props handy for your children to explore: boxes, clothes, shoes, household utensils, blocks, stuffed animals, and writing materials. Then step back and have fun watching what the props become.

An active imagination helps your preschooler in more ways than you might think.

Improving vocabulary. Children who play imaginary games or listen to lots of fairy tales, stories read aloud from books, or tales spun by those around them tend to have noticeably better vocabularies.

Taking control. Pretending lets your preschooler be anyone he wants, practice things he's learned, and make situations turn out the way he wants. Stories where the brave little boy thwarts the evil witch or playacted fantasies of being the one to rescue his fellow pirates from that sinking ship give him a sense that he can be powerful and in control even in unfamiliar or scary situations.

Learning social rules. Getting along socially can be tricky at any age. When your preschooler joins the other kids in the sandbox to create a castle out of sand, sticks, and leaves, she's not only exploring a fantasy world, she's learning complex, real-world rules about sharing, social interaction, and resolving conflicts.

Solving problems. Dreaming up imaginary situations teaches your child to think creatively in real life. Whether at school or at home, it's often adults who decide what children will do and how they'll do it, and it's adults who solve any problems that arise. But in play, kids decide what to do and how to do it (how to capture the monster, for example), and how to solve problems (anything from what to do about Bobby's skinned knee to how to include a pouty playmate who feels left out).

=> ada benarnya... Nur Alif Kaisah sekarang ni memang suka imagine bagaiii... it is very good tho... earmm, cuma ibu Kaisah Thaqif Nuha jangan cepat mare-mare... sekarang ni, cepat tul nak marah kalau anak-anak dok buat perangai... tarzan pun kalah... huhuhu... sedih sangat bila marah-marah Kaisah and Thaqif (well, Nuha kecik lagi maaa)... anak-anakku, maafkan ibu ya... ibu akan berusaha untuk tidak cepat mare... i love all of ya... muahhhhh...

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