Imagination plays a huge role in child development, and experts say by developing a child's imagination they will become empowered as adults to deal more effectively with problems in every day life. Maynards Discovery Patch commissioned a study in conjunction with child psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer to establish the importance of developing an active imagination from a young age! 43% of parents complained that technology (tv, computers etc) were a hurdle to over come, but Dr Gummer's research showed that when used effectively technology can actually enhance imagination!
Dr Gummer's top tips to promote an active imagination;
- Don't always give children the answers to questions, let them decide what they think the answer might be.
- Joint stories - start a story and encourage your child to end it (this is great if you're travelling!) My added tip to this one, is use a picture book as a starting point if you're struggling to know where to begin!
- Use imaginative language, phrases such as "I wonder what..." can help children to develop imaginative thoughts about every day thoughts! (On walks this works well if you find foot prints or holes in trees.. "I wonder what lives in there..").
So Maynards Discovery patch have produced a FREE app which you can download and with the help of their sweets from the Discovery Patch, you can explore the world, learn facts and encourage imagination. The app is super simple to use (even I could manage it!) and allows you to see creatures, animals or even body parts in front of your very eyes via the app! All you need to do is scan the front of a pack of Maynards Discovery patch sweets, which come in 3 great varieties, Body Bits, Animals, and Myths & Monsters!
The sweets are designed with family fun in mind, and allow you to play all sorts of games including things like..
|Can you guess which animal this is meant to be being acted out so beautifully?|
Here's my example using sweets I pulled out of the packet..
Once upon a time there lived a huge angry Dragon, he used to terrify the mermaid who lived in the sea next to his deep dark Dragon cave by breathing fire at her..
What happens next? - You decide!
The Body Bits;
are great for encouraging thoughts on human biology and talking about things like where is your brain - what do you think it feels like? This can lead on to sensory games, and try to guess what household objects are just by feeling them (no peeking!)
I was really lucky to attend an event with Maynards at London Zoo and try some of these games out for myself, I found it incredibly relaxing and great fun, and we've already tried some of the games out at home! The app is very popular with both boys, and has caused much amusement as well as discussions about everything from "Mummy is the dog really a unicorn but it's horn fell off?" to "WOW I can't believe we have that many bones, how did they count them all.." So why not try some out for yourself and let us know how you get along!
Disclaimer: I received a goody bag and attended the event at London Zoo, all thoughts and opinions are my own and based on my honest opinion using the techniques and Discovery app mentioned.