The power of make-believe: Inspire creativity in your kids

One of the best things about being a kid is the fun of make-believe! Here are some suggestions to help foster creativity and imagination in your kids.

Mom reading with her son

Boost your child’s imagination

  • Books offer a child a world of discovery, so help stimulate their mind by reading a variety of books together. Include picture books, fairy tales, fantasy, history and whatever else might pique their interest.
  • Add fuel to their creative spirit by showing them the world. Take your child to the library, zoo, historical park, science centre, art gallery, museum, community theatre or to listen to live music, and watch their imagination grow!
  • Give your child a dress-up trunk. Hit up the dollar store, garage sales, thrift stores and even your own closet for lots of fun stuff your child can use. Don’t limit it to your imagination, as kids are typically great at coming up with creative uses for even the most normal things!
  • Keep a good arsenal of art and craft supplies on hand to encourage creative pursuits. Have the usual supply of paint, plain and coloured paper, pipe cleaners and the like, but add interesting extras, such as paper towel rolls, fabric remnants, cardboard boxes, aluminum paper and glitter.


Give your child inspiration for creative play with these suggestions.

  • Create a restaurant. Encourage your child to write up a menu, set a table, then act as the server and chef. Depending on the age and ability of your child, use playdough to create the meal or allow them to access to the kitchen. Bon appetit, and don’t forget to leave a big tip!
  • Become pirates on the search for buried treasure. Hide a box of “treasure” somewhere in your home, and make a treasure map for your child to follow. Dress the part, and have fun sailing the high seas!
  • Make a movie, complete with sets and costumes. This is a great group activity. You or a child in the group can be the cinematographer, but let them have free reign (almost) with the genre and direction. Let the movie magic begin!
  • A theatre performance from the comfort of home is a great way to engage your child’s creative mind. It can be a play, a dance performance, musical or whatever your child chooses, and it can be done alone or with parents, siblings or friends. A hip hop dance routine, an interpretation of their favourite story or a variety act are all fun ideas. For something interesting and a bit more challenging, encourage your child to perform without speaking. Your child is sure to earn a standing ovation with their amazing show!

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