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5 Ways dads can engage the imagination of children

lego blocksBeing a work-from-home father of two daughters, I get the opportunity to watch them grow up without missing a single step in their development. I am one of the fortunate few that gets to relish in this opportunity.

It is amazing how well the imaginations of an eight and six year old play out through every day activities. As I believe that the imagination opens the doors to possibilities of adult lifestyles, I try to engage that imagination as often as possible. 

  1. Lego – Legos are one of the most engaging toys I’ve ever come across. There are timeless as children of today’s society are responsive to them as I was some thirty years ago. Building ships and vehicles with my daughters brings back a great deal of memories of a simpler time and I enjoy the creations that my children have envisioned. Children aren’t the only ones that can benefit from playing with Legos. In fact, I can draw you a schematic for my space fighter that my daughters simply love.
  2. Art Time – We love arts and crafts in our house. For $20, we were able to get an elaborate art set from Wal-Mart complete with crayons, pastels, chalk, and markers. As I have a bit of a talent for artwork myself, it is enlightening to see that the genetic trait is being handed down to my children. Taking a few moments out of your day to sit at the table and draw with your children is an excellent way to see their imaginations at work.
  3. Journal Time – After spending less than $5 on composition notebooks and pens, we incorporated something we call, “Journaling” in our household. For a half-hour, everyone writes in his or her journal anything they want. Although at five and six years old, these wind up being pictures more than anything. But, that’s perfectly fine. This is working on penmanship and spelling. We are reinforcing our daughter’s capacity for literacy.
  4. Stories – Another exercise we endorse in the household is story time. My wife picks a book and for an hour at night, she reads it. We try to keep the literature to something that all of the children can understand and currently, we are in the middle of the first Harry Potter book. As they listen to my wife, I can see the wheels turning in my children’s head through their eyes. You can almost see what they are imagining from the words of the book.
  5. Experiments – When it comes to computer electronics, I am somewhat of a hoarder. I don’t believe in just tossing broken electronics in the trash. Most of the time, we tear them apart in order to recycle the specifics such as plastics, copper, and PCBs that are in them. Using this second-hand electronic surplus, we’ve conducted all kinds of solar and magnetic power experiments. Did you know that lemons produce far more electrical power than potatoes? We do now.

Although computers and gaming consoles are entertaining and can be quite an effective method to gain some peace and quiet for a father, you shouldn’t rely too heavily on these kinds of diversions. As I am guilty of indulging in this pastime as well, I can’t preach that it’s bad for you. However, there is something to be said about sitting down at a table and enjoying each other’s company while creating something from nothing.

[About the author: Jack Meyers is a regular contributor for www.nannybackgroundcheck.com. As a detective he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites. Image: Slack pics]

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