Using Music to Promote Imagination

Using Music to Promote Imagination

26 June 2022 • Words by Nanette Botha 3 mins

Imagination and creativity usually go hand in hand. During preschool years, children naturally start exploring more imaginative play, which may include various creative characters, games, and toys. A couple of things need to be in place, though, before we can expect a child to explore creativity, and there are simple ways to get started. One of our favorite ways to promote imagination in kids is by using music.

Tips for using music to promote imagination:


Time

Our days are often busy and rushed, and therefore the same is true for our children, even without our being aware. We rush from one appointment, meeting, work, or chore to the next, and we rarely have time to stop and just be. For children to start being creative, they need time to settle into an environment and perhaps even feel bored before coming up with new ideas of things to do and play.


Space

Many families don’t have a designated playroom or large bedrooms for children, and in fact children don’t need a large area for imaginative play; they merely need some space free of clutter. If a room, or even a table, is filled with toys, books, and games, there will hardly be any need for children to be imaginative and expand on their play skills. Try to remove unnecessary clutter and entertainment and encourage children to do the same by packing away toys when they are done playing. This will limit distractions and increase the likelihood of their engaging in creative play.


We can set our kids up for success by creating a supportive environment that will promote imagination. Music plays a significant role in setting the scene for being imaginative! According to Ritter and Ferguson (2017) “happy music” increases creativity as opposed to having a quiet environment. This suggests that music can also have a remarkable effect on our children by promoting imagination.


Follow these tips to help you set a supportive scene at home.


Volume

The music that is played should not be the focus. Music should be played in the background and therefore not be too loud. A good way to test this is to have a conversation at a typical indoor volume and if you can hear each other easily, the volume is just right!


Type of music

Your goal is to promote imagination and creativity in your child. Music with lyrics that your child is familiar with, such as nursery rhymes, may cause them to want to sing along and be focused on the music. That would make it challenging for them to explore or initiate an imaginative activity at the same time. Try out the instrumental music on Moshi and select some of your child’s favorites. You could even create your own playlist in the app for different occasions! Why not make one with your child for playtime?


Safety

We do not want to inhibit any creativity in our children by having lists of rules and guidelines for them to stick to. It would be advisable to ensure that the space your child has access to is safe for them to use without a parent having to watch their every move.



If it is possible to devote a few minutes every week for creative play with your child, it would be a great idea for you to join in. You would be able to model for your child that exploring and being imaginative are fun and safe to do, and this will increase their confidence in their emerging skills. You are also guaranteed to have loads of fun!




Ritter, S. M., & Ferguson, S. (2017). Happy creativity: Listening to happy music facilitates divergent thinking. PloS One, 12(9).

  • Nanette Botha

    Educational specialist & mother of 3 young children Co-founder: AIMS Global & Leadership at: Augmental