Which would you rather......go swimming or play at the park?
Which would you rather......eat an ice cream cone or lick a sucker?
You can find out a lot about your children/grandchildren's tastes and interests by asking questions like these.
Recently I read another fun game here that fosters imagination.
What would happen if......everyone had 4 arms?
What would happen if......toys grew on trees?
Your child has to think and imagine the scenarios of these questions--which is a great cognitive skill.
Researchers are studying children and their imaginations and hoping that will help in understanding children with autism. In an article on children's "magical thinking", Dr. Harris states, "there is evidence that imagination and role play appears to have a key role in helping children take someone else's perspective. Kids with autism, on the other hand, don't engage in much pretend play, leading some to suggest that the lack of such activity contributes to their social deficits."
Interesting! Can you help an autistic child learn to imagine things? Would that stimulate part of the injured brain and help repair it?
The Reader's Digest had an article that listed 5 benefits of encouraging your child's imagination. I especially liked this one:
Work out fears
Playing pretend can help children work out their fears and worries. When children role-play about the big, bad monster under the bed, they gain a sense of control over him and he doesn’t seem quite so big or so bad. Imaginative play also helps kids vent confusing feelings they might have, such as anger toward a parent or rivalry with a new sibling.
To encourage your youngster’s imagination, read to him every day. Books offer children the opportunity to visit other worlds and create new ones of their own.