Technology seems to be at the forefront of everything, and getting our kids to use their imagination and immerse themselves in some good ‘ol hands-on play seems to be getting harder and harder everyday. Luckily, whether you read a hard copy book or the online version, reading it can get your mind thinking, imagining, creating, and playing.
5 Books That Will Get Your Kids Imagining, Creating, and Playing
I love children’s books! The colors, the characters, and the titles draw me to them. Sometimes I think I like reading them more than adult books. Just browsing through them makes me smile or gives me such a warm, happy feeling. They are always positive, have good messages, and can deliver a good laugh. It’s all food for the soul, especially for the little souls in our lives.
There are hundreds of children’s books out there. Some of my favorites not only tell a story, but spark imagination, creativity, and play. They can offer simple ideas to promote play that can last for hours. Books help our imaginations run wild. I firmly believe that some of the smartest people in the world have the best imaginations. How would our inventors, scientists, artists, and others come up with their ideas and discoveries without great imaginations?
Just a Few Titles
Here are just a few delightful reads. Whether I’m reading to my students or my own girls, these books always tend to be among the favorites.
#1 Not A Box by Antoinette Portis
If your kids are fighting for the next box that gets delivered to the house, they’ll love this book. It solidifies the idea that a box is never just a box. We have made so many creations in our home with boxes. It doesn’t matter the size of the box: there are so many possibilities. Life gets busy with 4 kids, so online ordering happens pretty often. That means lots of boxes delivered to our door. I love seeing the imagination start to happen as soon as they see the box at the door. What will it be? A doll bed, a house, a car, an airplane?
A classroom is a great place for box projects too. Almost everyone has a box from home that they can contribute to a school project.
Another loved book by Antoinette Portis is Not a Stick. It is similar to Not a Box, but this time, what can you do with a stick? So many things, as long as we give it lots of room to play.
#2 The Dot by Peter Reynolds
This book can bring out the artist in anyone. Vashti’s art begins with a simple dot. Not everyone can be a Picasso or Van Gogh, but we can all make our own masterpieces. That’s the great thing about art. It can be whatever you want it to be. Peter Reynolds has a few other books that might bring the artist out in you called Sky Color and Ish. These are all cute reads that inspire you to dig out the paint and not worry about the mess.
If your little painter is not feeling the creative vibe, draw a dot or a squiggly line and ask them what it could be. If the creative wavelengths are struggling to flow, a directed draw is an easy way to help kids along. A quick online search can be done to find easy step by step directed draws, or you can make it up yourself. Although you are giving them something to draw, the creativity almost always takes off from there. They begin to fill in their own color choices, or they add in their creative backgrounds. And there you have it! A little artist.
#3 Our Amazing Blankets by Kealy Connor Lonning
I recently stumbled upon this book as I was looking for fun books to read to my little one. It caught my attention because the main characters were twins and my big girls are twins, and the girls in my house (myself included) love our blankets. While I like a warm fuzzy blanket to cover me when I’m relaxing on the couch, the girls seem to find all sorts of other uses for them. So much so that I can’t ever find my blanket. The twins in this book remind me of some of the fun ways we’ve used blankets to play in our house. From forts to magic carpets, and capes fit for royals, there is a lot that can be imagined with a blankie!
#4 Stone Soup
This book is a classic. This story has been around for a while It can be a little long for some age groups, so don’t be afraid to paraphrase if needed. There are also a few different versions out there to choose from.
I used to only think of this book as a classroom read because it’s in our school curriculum. I never really thought to take it outside of the classroom until I became a Tinkergarten leader. It is a favorite lesson among leaders and kids because the imagination and play that comes from it is so easy and inviting. Go outside and make your stone soup with ingredients from nature. What child doesn’t like to stir up something good in a big old pot with a wooden spoon and water included? There’s something about adding water that kids can’t resist.
A yummy stew, a witch’s brew, or a steamy potion. What will your child think of?
#5 Where Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosin
This is another great classic book that never seems to get old. You can read the book and come up with your own kind of hunt. Whatever the kids are into, dinosaurs, bugs, leprechauns if it’s that time of year. Whether you are inside or outside, you can find things to go over, under, and through to make it that much more exciting and maybe even silly.
Children’s Books Are Like Eye Candy
There are so many books out there in the world. It’s hard to name only a few. As you can see, I managed to sneak in a few more titles among the others. You can find so many books that are for just about any kind of fun. Children’s books have so much to offer. If you haven’t read one in a while, pick one up, and have a read.
Lately, I have found myself taking the kids to bookstores again. In the last few years, we’ve relied a lot on the school library, book fairs, and ordering on Amazon to supply us with our books. I forgot how much fun walking through a bookstore can be. It’s like eye candy. Like I said at the beginning of this post, the colors, the characters, and the titles draw you in. You can’t help but bring one home. And if you know that it’ll have a positive influence on your child’s life and encourage them to read, then why not?
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3 thoughts on “5 Books That Spark Imagination and Play”
Krista, these are excellent reads for children! These books not only bring out the creativity and imagination of children, but help teachers and parents as teachers, provide activities that are educational and spark the imagination.
Thanks Krista I’ll look them up I know my lad is a little small but any recommendations for very little ones ?
Yes! Playing looks a little different with little ones. Most of their play is exploration or modeling from us. Books that you can feel, touch, or books with sounds or mirrors etc. are great. At first, you may have to do it for him. I enjoy books that I can act out the sounds or the characters while reading. A favorite is Head to Toe by Eric Carle. I love all of his books. We also enjoy these books called Mommy Hugs and Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman, but board books in general offer so much variety that will get your little one playing and discovering very young.