Unstructured time is key to developing creativity and imagination in children.
Why Children Need Unstructured Time
As parents, we want the best for our children. Often, this means finding enriching activities for them. But giving them unstructured time may be the best gift we can offer! Here’s an example of why free time is so important for children.
Yesterday Johnny (4) and Lily (2) spent an unprecedented three hours creating an imaginary world while Emma was in Kindergarten – with paper, tape, and pens. Here are two of Johnny’s people – I think they are him and his dad (Mike).
This is Johnny’s construction paper house. I love that he cut the people out of their own homes…
A few accessories for his house. Can you spot Tow Mater (two different angles) and two angry birds? Johnny is a marketer’s dream. Show him a product with a character, and he loves the product – regardless of whether or not he knows ANYTHING about the character.
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Lily made some guys and a house as well. I am fascinated by how Lily’s drawings range from typical two-year-old (below) to her sophisticated bear and tree. It reminds me of the way Emma’s handwriting ranges from looking as nice as mine to barely legible (usually reserved for homework).
Johnny did some more abstract work, as well:
It’s amazing what kids can do, given the space, interest, and resources!
How do you see unstructured time developing creativity and imagination for your children?
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