Summer is here...

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Summer is here...

Different rhythms, swimsuits and towels on the top shelves, glasses half full with lemonades, all testify that summer has come. It's time for everyone in the family to take a little respite and enjoy the magic of this warm but at the same time carefree time of the year.

This summer, I urge you to invest in the imagination of your children ... For young children everything is possible: animals can talk, objects can have their own lives and things that are not visible to anyone can exist. As we grow older, all of this is changing, as the perception becomes unchanged, and realism outweighs the imagination. Although gradual learning of responsibilities and responsibilities is necessary for all children, this does not mean that we have to limit their imaginary world by introducing them prematurely into the limitations of adulthood.

Imagination "grows" when we make space to express it freely. Let the children play on their own, without structured toys, as close to nature as possible and with materials that they will use, no matter whether they will be dirty or destroy something (which is of little value).

Use books creatively and not as a purely pedagogical medium since summer is identical to free time. Read stories and then try to divide into inspirational roles or make your own illustration (eg how does Red Riding Hood look like for you), or try to cook what they cooked themselves (for example, pancakes from Chrysomalousa, a way to introduce new foods to children who have difficulty). Depending on the experiences of the summer, try to create your own fairy tale, with heroes that will have your own personality. Encourage children to make their own story and you take the role of "presenter," asking questions so that they can think about the continuity of the story.

Another key element that enhances expression and imagination is free space, open parks, beaches and mountain walks. Even if your duties are keeping you in Athens, prefer to go out in nature as well as moments that will turn your home into something more creative with little surprises such as a picnic on the veranda, a bangle (outside the house or in the bathroom), movies on the balcony, on the mats of the sea with pillows.

Children also love to make "nests". This is explained by the sense of safe personal space that reminds them the initial sense of primary safety in their mother's womb during pregnancy. "Nests" can be created everywhere, inside and out of the house, with materials available, and rely on the importance of sensory stimuli through textures and alternations of light and sound. The imagination of children unfolds as they can change their nest in whatever they want. Equipping them with lightnings and water bubbles can help them play endless hours inside them.

Everyone now says that children are growing fast. If you ask me the children continue to grow at the same pace, but their imagination stops growing earlier and magic keeps less. So let yourselves to your children's rhythms this summer and give them the pleasure of leading you to the most "fantastic" vacation you've ever had!

Happy Summer!

With sea greetings,
Marilou Kountria
Psychologist - Play Therapist

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