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Fantasy play nurtures creative thinking in kids

Harold Mandel's picture

Creative thinking in kids may be enhanced with fantasy play according to the British Psychological Society.


Fantasy play is an important part of child development. Life without fantasy for a child would be a tragically boring existence.

Fantasy play could benefit the creative thinking of kids

Taking part in fantasy play could benefit the creative thinking of kids according to a study which was presented at the annual conference for the British Psychological Society's Developmental Psychology Section. Lead researcher Dr Louise Bunce of Oxford Brookes University has commented that there is a growing body of research which has been investigating the influence which kids engaging in fantasy has on their development.

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The researchers wanted to check out whether kids who engage in fantasy play are actually more creative. Theoretically imagination is needed to play in make believe worlds. In order to conceive of the world in a different way than its present reality it is clearly necessary to think in creative ways.

Kids who enjoy fantasy play may be more creative.

According to Dr Bunce the results of this study offer evidence that engaging in play which involves imagining increasingly unrealistic scenarios has an association with thinking more creatively. It appears possible that kids who enjoy fantasy play are thereafter more creative. It also seems possible that kids who are more creative thereafter take part in more fantasy play. The results offer encouraging evidence for parents and teachers who could give consideration to encouraging kids to take part in fantasy play as a way to develop good creative thinking skills.

Imaginative play is a significant part of normal child development reports Psychology Today. Pretend play or make believe play are a reflection of a critical feature of the child’s cognitive and social development. Research has increasingly shown a series of clear benefits of the engagement of kids in pretend games. So it's clearly a good idea to encourage kids to engage in fantasy play.