In this fast age of technology and readymade knowledge, developing the thinking and imagination in toddlers can be a challenging task. As many schools focus more on academics, and knowledge about letters and numbers, the responsibility of developing the thinking skills in children from a young age lies on parents’ shoulders. Although the knowledge of science and math is important for your child, imagination, and thinking skills are vital. It is imagination that has helped humankind to develop a lot of today’s art, literature, and innovative technology. Imagination and thinking will not only help your toddler in school but also throughout their life to solve critical and complex problems.

Kid playing with Montessori Toys

We have listed below some simple tips which you can use to improve your child’s imagination and make them think out of the box. But, before we jump up to tips, let’s first explore the answer to a very important question.

What is more important for your toddler: Knowledge or thinking, and imagination?

Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. He believed knowledge limited to what we already know and understand. However, imagination and creative thinking empower us to create new knowledge and explore new realities.

But to answer the question, both knowledge and imagination are important for a toddler. Your child will have to gain both to succeed in school and in life. He needs to learn important things. However, he also needs to be an imaginative and creative thinker. Imagination offers a foundation for both gaining knowledge and creative thinking. Improving a child’s imagination will not only support them for the acquisition of knowledge but will also enhance his/her creative thinking capacity. Hence, it is not a question of which is more important, as both are vital for your toddler.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your child’s imagination and creative thinking.

1.   Devote time to improve child’s imagination:

First things first, you’ll have to make time for your child from your busy schedule. We know that family life can be busy due to all the responsibilities and workload, but you must fix some of your valuable time for your child’s improvement. Sit with them, read books to them, tell them stories, play with them, and ask thoughtful questions about their play. These steps can help improve your child’s imagination and creative thinking.

It is also essential for your toddler to have plenty of time for exploring and pursuing his ideas. Let them play in a suitable environment and give them a quiet time alone to plan and execute an idea.

2.   Read to your toddler:

Reading to your child can build a lifelong affinity in them for books, which is one of the essential factors for success in life. Reading to a child can spark imagination skills in them. By reading, I don’t mean to read complex storybooks to your toddler. You can start with picture books that are colorful, fun, and interactive. They can rouse the curiosity in your toddler about different things while also helping with language and vocabulary skills. You can choose a book from the library and start reading to them daily.

3.   Certain toys can help to improve thinking and imagination in toddlers:

With the advancement of technology, television and smartphones have been used a lot as electronic babysitters. Kids are kept occupied by using phones, video games, and television. However, excessive screen time for kids can be dangerous for their health and can make them passive. You can limit these types of activities by replacing them with toys that offer creative pursuits.

You should select toys and games which encourage thinking and imagination. Toy blocks and construction toys are a great way to boost thinking and imagination in toddlers. Your child will try to create something from blocks and will have to think about different ways to construct it. 

You can also buy dress-up clothes for your kid. They will enjoy costuming themself as a police officer, nurse, pirate, or prince. Role-playing toys are also a good option as they help children to play make-believe. Lego pieces


Thus, replacing your toddler’s excessive screen time with healthy toys can help improve your child’s imagination and make them think out of the box.

4.   Expose your toddler to art:

Expose your toddler to different arts and cultural experiences. You can take them to art galleries and museums, or you can expose them to different activities like dance, music, and painting, etc. You can search for different upcoming activities and events nearby you on social media or in newspapers.

You can also create art using common household things. You could have observed many toddlers ignoring an expensive toy and playing with the box of the toy. Kids can have an affinity for ordinary objects because of their curiosity and imagination. So, keep the cardboard rolls, paper doilies, colorful yarn, and even some leaves or twigs to let your toddler play with different objects, which will fuel her curiosity and imagination.

5.   Explore nature with your child:

Exploring nature with your toddler can astonishingly boost their imagination and thinking skills. When you’ll walk and hike with your toddler, they will observe a lot of new and intriguing sights during the process.

  Kid Playing Outdoor

You can take your toddler for a walk and take extra bread for birds. You can spot different birds, feed the ducks at a pond, or see the autumn leaves falling. Your kid will develop different questions in his mind, which will help him think out of the box.

6.   Let them play with other kids:

Playing with children of the same age can have a very good impact on thinking and imagination in toddlers. They can think about different activities and play creative games, which will provide a novel experience for your child. They will also develop interpersonal and communication skills from a very young age. So, ask your friends or other parents in your neighborhood to come over and spend some time with your family. This will not only provide your toddler with a chance to play with their kids, but also develop their interpersonal relations.

7.   Tell stories to your child:

This one may not apply to a toddler of age 1 or 2 years. However, if your kid is old enough to understand, telling them different stories can help improve their imagination. Your kids will love hearing stories about your past, about their favorite pets, or fairytales. These stories make them imagine different scenarios in their head and think about unique characters and settings.


Many kids inherit imagination and creative thinking ability from their parents. But even for those, these skills need to be polished. As schools will concentrate more on fixed knowledge, parents can enhance thinking and imagination in toddlers from a very young age by following these tips.