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"Imagination is more important than knowledge"

Albert Einstein

It seems these days there is a lot of emphasis on structured learning and at younger and younger ages. Are our children getting enough unstructured time to engage their imagination?

Much research has been done around the value of imagination for successful learning and found that children learn more and are more engaged in learning when they are using their imagination. It supports cognitive and social development and the ability to think outside the box. In all learning environments it's important to be able imagine possible solutions whether it's a math equation or when engaging critical thinking skills.

All new innovations started in some ones imagination – this is where creativity begins. It is a skill that our most accomplished scientists, innovators, artists and musicians possess.

Children bring this wonderful ability into the world with them in great abundance. What's important is that we allow them to hold on to this creative ability and expand on it.

How do we support our children in using their imagination? Simply let them play. Children need free time to develop their imagination through play in all its forms. Wearing costumes, creative art, exploring, splashing in puddles and pretending to be anything they would like to be. Without a structured agenda, curriculum or too much direction. They can color outside the lines if they choose, be a bird, or take a trip to the moon.

Just the other day my granddaughter was catching butterflies in her hands and giving them to me.

Were they real? I imagine they were…