Reading has plenty of benefits for children, the most obvious of which are for language development. However, reading also has a huge benefit of sparking your child’s imagination and creativity. This is a reason why the IB PYP makes it a point to teach and inspire all their students to pick up reading. As Einstein famously said, ‘imagination points to all we might yet discover and create’ – showing just how vital imagination is to innovation, discovery, and problem-solving!
Let’s take a closer look at how reading and imagination can benefit your primary school child:
Reading stimulates the right hemisphere
The right hemisphere of the brain is commonly associated with creativity, imagination and other processes like pattern recognition, attention and visual processing. By activating the right side of our brain, reading broadens our imagination. It opens up our mind to new possibilities and ideas that allow us to experience and analyse the world in a different way.
Reading builds new neural networks
Building new neural networks means building new understandings or skills. Neural networks are how our brain makes connections, and this can encourage them to be more creative. Some other ways to form new neural networks include doing new activities, learning a new skill, or simply changing up your routine.
Supports imaginative play
Imaginative play helps children develop creativity and strengthen their problem-solving skills by forging ‘imaginative pathways’ in their brain. Providing your child with books that inspire their sense of curiosity, exploration and fantasy, encourages their imaginative play. Reading will also expose them to different scenarios and stories which cause their mind to explore and experiment.
Reading improves Theory of Mind
Theory of Mind (ToM) is the human ability to comprehend another person’s perspective. ToM develops across childhood, and it is important because it can affect how well they can communicate throughout their entire life. Through reading stories and following various characters, children can become more aware and sensitive of differing perspectives by imagining how the characters are feeling. This can be applied to real-life situations where they able to consider various viewpoints of a problem.
Imagination breeds creative ideas
Imagination is the formation of an image or scenario that is not present to the senses. Reading books or listening to stories inspire children by capturing their imagination through adventures, characters and even illustrations. Children with good imaginations can advance their all-round cognitive development.
They gain the ability to think out of the box and come up with creative ideas. For example, many of the creatives and innovators in top technological companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google are imaginative people who grew up reading science fiction.
So, that’s more reason to encourage your child to pick up a book today! Many international schools in Singapore motivate children to read and boost creativity. If you feel that this is a good fit for your child, remember to compare the international school fees in Singapore before applying! With all the benefits that reading has, it is more than worth it to spend some time each day reading.