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Understanding the Importance of Childhood Imagination

Give your child the opportunity to explore the depths of their imaginations with a trip to Kid Junction, a children’s indoor playground in Chantilly, Va. With so much to do and explore, your child will love the opportunity to run around through the indoor playground, stimulating their imagination and creativity along the way.

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Understanding the Importance of Childhood Imagination

  1. 1. Albert Einstein said it best: "Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life's coming attractions." A truer statement has never been made -- especially when t comes to children. Giving kids the opportunity and frequency with which to explore their creative sides is crucial, helping them develop important social, problem-solving, troubleshooting and communication skills they will need throughout their entire lives. Encouraging and fostering an atmosphere of free play and imagination is the best gift you can give to your kids -- a gift that keeps giving well into adulthood.
  2. 2. Benefits of Playful Imagination It may look like silly play: little girls imagining they are marrying a prince in a grand castle or little boys racing their toy cars in the Daytona 500. However, that silly play is anything but: in fact, it's actually a critical learning opportunity. It's this playful behavior that allows kids to more readily learn and absorb the world around them, boosting the growth and development of their burgeoning brain cells, according to Parenting Science. When given free reign at school, for example, children can better grasp their academic lessons because they're allowed to further explore discoveries in the world around them. Sure, gym time is great -- kids need a controlled environment in which to get directed exercise on a regular basis. However, that's just what it is: controlled.
  3. 3. They're told what to do, what the rules are, how they should play and what the consequences are if they don't do it right. Free time, on the other hand, such as at out recess or in the backyard at home, puts control in THEIR hands for a small slice of their day. They can choose to be a butterfly or a knight or a dinosaur, making up their own rules and interacting with others in their own way. It's this freedom that spurs kids on to think outside the box. Moreover, these critical thinking skills will benefit them as they navigate through their teen and adults years. When they find themselves on their own in college for the first time or in a workplace environment, and experience a conflict, what will they do? Run home and ask Mom? Or figure it out on their own? Scientists say this is where those days of wild imagination will kick in and provide some tangible problem-solving benefits.
  4. 4. Why Imagination Helps Research shows that free play, where imaginations are fostered, can lead to an increase in social skills, along with language comprehension and communication. BabyCenter says that this make-believe play helps kids cooperate with their peers in social situations, stay focused when they need to, control themselves when warranted and follow the rules of their social circle. This impulse double-check is important as they grow older and face difficult roommates, teachers, coworkers and bosses. There's a reason why companies like Google and LinkedIn incorporate fun activities and relaxation into their daily routine.
  5. 5. They know that creativity spurs productivity, resulting in happier employees who are free to explore their imaginations to come up with solutions. Apply this to children, and you will see the same benefits. Learning these lessons rarely takes place in a sterile academic setting; rather, imagination takes place outside structured school time, where they are left to test out their newly learned skills within an active social environment with peers. It is important for youngsters to learn self-regulation that comes about by free play, with the ability to alter their reality for a few moments of their day.
  6. 6. Creative Children Grow into Creative Adults One wonders if Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Alexander Graham Bell were not given the chance to imagine at a young age, would we have those important revelations and inventions that helped change the course of human history? The world needs the next Bill Gates and the next Beethoven: people who, because they thought outside the box, made the lives of countless people better. Creativity and innovation come from imagination, with some of the most influential creations coming from simply imagining a better, easier or more beautiful world, points out the Huffington Post. Imaginative children often go on to be scientists, inventors, artists and engineers because they were given the freedom to grow their thoughts as children. Just think: without creative adults, which spawned from imaginative youngsters, we may never have come to know the convenience of a smartphone, the all- encompassing beauty of viewing the earth from a spaceship, or the ability to communicate instantly at the touch of a button on a computer.
  7. 7. Directed play by adults like teachers and parents is certainly a good way to augment a child's learning and behavior, but there is a limit. The next time you think of stepping in and controlling your child's environment, think twice and give them time to imagine on their own for a bit. A trip to Chantilly’s own Kid Junction provides your child with a wealth of opportunity to explore their most valuable tools, their imagination and creativity. The indoor playground provides endless opportunity for children to learn through play, promoting important life lessons along the way. Give your child a day he or she will never forget with a trip to Kid Junction!

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