A creative imagination is a trait that your toddler will take with them right through to adulthood - the very word sparks a whole world of possibilities.


To help your little one on their journey to thinking outside of the box, kick start it with these six different ways:


Read them stories

Read your little one lots of different stories from your own head or from pictureless books. Get them to describe what they think certain characters look like – hair colour, clothes etc. and what might happen next in the story.


Draw with them

Stock your home with lots of paper and crayons and let your little one be as creative as they like. Avoid giving them suggestions of what they can draw, instead give them the opportunity to think for themselves and come up with something on their own. When they come to you with the picture ask them to explain what certain things are;. without you saying 'oh that’s a lovely cat', they’ll have to come up with what it is all on their own.


Make and do with them

You’ve probably noticed that kids love nothing more than playing with an empty box, so give them one and see what game their imagination can come up with. If they are a little stuck for ideas, why not build a car or a house and encourage them to play in it, letting their imagination take them anywhere it likes.  


Get messy

Pull out the flour, rice, glitter and Play-Doh and get messy. Being creative and imaginative is never going to be a tidy process, so let your youngster go a little wild - you can always clean up later.


Go outside

Head outside with a bag and a notebook and collect items in your garden until the bag is full. Bring it inside, empty it out and see what arts and crafts or even fun games your toddler can come up with using your discoveries.


Play pretend  

You don’t need props or toys to encourage your little one’s imagination; getting them to play pretend without using anything to perhaps steer their mind is a great way to encourage their imagination. You can be an animal, an object or whatever you like and make a game out of it by trying to guess what the other person is. Don’t make it too hard for your little one though as they might grow bored of this game very quickly.