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A child’s imagination is a wonderful thing, full of endless possibility and energy for adventure. But those little minds are also like thirsty sponges in need of inspiration, so it’s important for parents to nurture and encourage them.
This month we’ve teamed up with the creators of the brilliant Lost My Name books to offer you the chance to win one of 5 limited edition Trunki cases, with a beautiful illustrated print of your child’s name on the side. Along with a special Lost My Name book, personalised especially for your little one.
Since the Lost My Name team are specialists in creating magical imaginary worlds, we thought we’d pick their brains to get some tips on how you can help encourage your children’s imaginations to grow. Not just through reading books, but in all kinds of cool ways that kids will love!
Five Story-tastic ways to inspire imagination!
So here at Lost My Name we’re clearly big fans of reading… and books… and storytelling… and, well, anything that gets kid’s imaginations going bananas. Talking animals, magical kingdoms, pirates sailing down your street, wizards who yearn to be plumbers (that one’s ours) – books open up new, fantastic, extraordinary worlds.
And the fun needn’t finish once you’ve read the last line and closed the book – oh no. Here are some marvellously creative ways you can use reading and storytelling to boost little imaginations – and have a whole lot of fun along the way.
1. Enrol family members into an exclusive society…
Call a club night. Hijack the sofa, break out the biscuits, fill the bowls with popcorn and invite the family to join you reading aloud to all the family. Don’t tell them it’s a book club, just lure them in with nibbles and a sense of occasion. If your kids enjoy reading aloud (and some do), take turns in reading chapters.
Don’t forget, reading doesn’t just have to be about stories. Get the kids groaning over terrible jokes, or discovering crazy facts about dinosaurs together. There are all sorts of different books out there waiting to find just the right reader.
2. Make up your own stories…
You don’t need books to tell stories, you can find inspiration just about anywhere and making up adventures with the kids can be great fun. If you don’t quite know where to start, use some prompts to get you going. You could use story stones or simply write a list of characters, adjectives and situations on bits of paper to pull from a hat. You could start with something simple like a card board box, let the little ones decide what they want it to be, a house, a cave, a rocket ship and build the story from there.
Our little Trunki cases come in a box that’s perfect for creative play. It can be turned into a little house so children can enjoy hours fun making up stories and games with their new Trunki friend.
3. Act it out…
Crack open the dressing-up box and children can become their favourite book character. Or better yet, design and make their own costumes. Can a stick be a knight’s sword? Absolutely! Can a Trunki become a bear’s cave? Yep. Can you wear a colander as a space helmet? Like, of course? Even if your little one isn’t keen on dressing up, they can act out the story with toys and figures. Use your books as the script, or just as the inspiration for your own amazing adventures.
4. Be the star…
It’s thought that kids who star in their own adventures have a greater sense of self, and are more likely to remember the detail of those stories. Plus, they think being the hero of the story’s totally awesome. Create stories about your children, including objects and people from their everyday lives, and see where your journey leads.
5. Create an Inspiration Box…
With just a splash of creativity all kinds of house hold ‘junk’ can be transformed into wonderful stuff to fuel children’s imaginations. It might be some old kitchen utensils, toilet rolls, mis-matched buttons or some stray socks.
Keep everything together in something like our Trunki ToyBox, along with paper, pens and some other simple craft accessories. Then on a rainy day, let the kids go wild. Before you know it they’ll be making up story characters, creating puppets, cool art creations or fun games to keep them entertained for hours.