3 Creative Visualisation Techniques to Unleash Kids' Imagination


When you hear the word “imagination” what comes to mind?

Fantasy?
Myth?
Magic and wizardry?
Ideas that are thrilling but ultimately not real...
Those were my go-to thoughts. Before. 

Lately, however, I’ve come to associate imagination with possibility, innovation and extraordinary success. In fact, the more I research the human mind and the individuals who’ve mastered it, the more I find myself wondering whether imagination is in fact everything. Imagination, that is, and belief.

Visualise to Imagine, Imagine to Create

I used to think that visualisation and imagination were the same thing. How wrong I was.

As you can see from the image above, our brains are split into two hemispheres: the left and the right. The left hemisphere governs logic. It's linked to rational decisions, fact-based evidence and the things we perceive our 3D realities. In contrast, the right hemisphere governs creativity, intuition and imagination- that's our ideas, our gut instincts and our sixth senses. Basically, knowledge vs beliefs.

According to scientist and parapsychologist José Silva, visualisation is a left hemisphere skill as it asks the brain to recall images which are familiar. i.e. people we know, places we've been, movies we've seen. Imagination, however, is a right hemisphere skill as it requires the mind to create something new

As numerous studies of athletes has shown, creative visualisation is a powerful tool in overcoming the body's natural limitations. This is because it is a bicameral skill- that is, it uses both hemispheres, thereby tapping into the limitless potential of the mind. (Visualising muscle strength and peak performance = left hemisphere. Imagining a desired outcome = right hemisphere.)

There are countless success stories of creative visualisation in sports, medicine and business, all of which lead us to one solid conclusion: we are both enabled and limited by the power of our minds. To go one step further, our imaginations could therefore be the key to our success.

For parents and educators, this raises a powerful question: 
If we accept that imagination can influence the mind; 
If we accept that imagination can produce solutions to problems; 
And if we accept that imagination leads to extraordinary success, 
Then should we be devoting more time to understanding and strengthening the imagination? 

Just imagine the possible results: 

- Children imagine... and become readers.
- Children imagine...and become mathematicians.
- Children imagine...and solve problems with their friends.
- Children imagine...and know that they are enough.

Beliefs such as these are deeply rooted in the subconscious mind (often, unfortunately, in the negative) which is incidentally, the place where the imagination thrives. And so the challenge is this:

Access the imagination. 
Train it for good.
Change our subconscious beliefs.

But HOW?

Well, I’m a teacher, not a scientist, but I do believe that it is possible- which is, if you’re with me, half the battle. For the other half, see the exercises below. They’re borrowed from doctors, scientists and psychologists and their many years of research and practise.

Exercises

First up is The 3:1 Method 
Purpose: To use visualisation to develop the imagination.
Frequency: Once per week for 15 minutes 
Taken from Create a Genius by José Silva and Robert B Stone

Steps
Ask your child/student to:

  • Close their eyes. 
  • Raise their eye level by 20 degrees.
  • Recall a familiar place, person, movie or experience and describe it to you or a partner in full detail and colour. If they’re describing a movie, encourage them to focus on the visual details and not the plot. 
  • Do this for 3 weeks in a month. 
  • On the 4th week, you change from visualisation to imagination. They lose their eyes. Raise their eye level by 20 degrees. Recall a familiar place, person, movie or experience and describe it to you. 
  • Then, you ask them to make an alteration. Change the colour of the sea. Change the colour of that person’s top. Add rain. Make an object spin. See the scene change from day to night. Add in any imaginative and creative alterations. 
  • After the fourth week, go back to the visualisation and re-start.
Second is the 3 Scenes Technique
Purpose: To solve problems that seem unsolvable. 
Frequency: Any time a problem arises.
Taken from Vishen Lakhiani’s MindValley Course on The Silva Ultramind System

Steps
Ask your child/student to:
  • Close their eyes. 
  • Raise their eye level 20 degrees.
  • Imagine a blank screen. On it, project a problem that you want to fix or solve. Exaggerate it. Feel the pain of the problem. (a problem with a friend, an academic challenge, or a physical ailment.)
  • Look slightly to the left and visualise a second screen. On it, visualise the solution to the problem. (an open conversation with a friend, a teacher explaining strategies to a problem, a magical cream to heal your sports injury.)
  • Look slightly to the left again and visualise a third screen. This time, visualise the solution. (You hug your friend and smile, an “ah-hah!” moment in the classroom, a healed ligament.)
  • Open their eyes. 
Third up, Lofty Questions 
Purpose: To combat doubt by tricking the subconscious mind. 
Frequency: Mornings, or anytime you notice those feelings of doubt creeping in.
Taken from: Christie Sheldon’s MindValley Course on Unlimited Abundance 

Steps
Ask your child/student to:
  • Take a piece of paper and write “am I…” statements phrased as questions. These are like affirmations, except the additional element of a question tricks the mind into thinking that they’ve already happened.
  • Example: Why am I so creative? How do I always find solutions to problems? Why is reading so much easier for me now? How do I always know what to write? Why am I always surrounded by love? How do I always end up with the most trusted friends? 
  • Then, ask them to close their eyes. 
  • Count them backwards from 50 to 1. Count slowly, encouraging a deeper level of relaxation with every decreasing number. 
  • Prompt children to ask their questions mentally. Encourage them to feel positive emotion- to get lost in the possibility of their asks.
  • Give 2 minutes. Children can ask lots of questions or re-ask the same ones. 
  • Count up from 1-5. 
  • Children open their eyes.
So, you've read the (brief) theory.
You've considered the exercises.
The only question is: are you ready to unleash the power of your imagination?

________________________________________________________________________

Giving this a go in your classroom or home?

I'd love to know how it's going!
Email me at misstiffinstales@gmail.com
or DM me on Instagram @MissTiffinsTales

:)