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Goldfish Feed Imagination Winner - Alexis - Edmonton
There is nothing more precious than a child’s imagination. Just check the artwork many a parent proudly displays on their refrigerator door or wall.
And what kids need more than ever is the opportunity to let their creative spirits flow – with pencils, papers, watercolours, even sidewalk chalk. Give them the tools to stretch their creativity and just let them go wild.
But – is the area of imagination suffering, especially during these pandemic times? And especially with children, who experts are saying are spending an inordinate amount of time in front of screens?
A few months ago, Goldfish Canada, in conjunction with the Angus Reid forum, commissioned the “Imagination Index” – a national study that examined Canadian parents’ perceptions of their kids imaginations. It came as no surprise that the majority of parents – 99% to be exact – felt that imagination and children go hand in hand.
Yet, according to the same study, a third of those parents expressed concerns on how their children’s imaginations have been affected by the pandemic, pointing to excessive technology as a sign kids weren’t really allowing their creative juices to flow.
“We wanted to provide Canadians with insights around the importance of imagination and its impact, especially now with families spending so much time at home,” said Paloma Bentes, of Campbell Company of Canada (( www.campbellsoup.ca ) , who commissioned the study, adding in a recent release that, according to the study “about a third of Canadian parents feel their children’s imagination has suffered during the pandemic.”
In the recent statement, the research revealed that just over half of Canadian parents believe their children use their imaginations less than they did when they were young, with parents also reporting they feel levels of imagination decrease as kids grow older.
Based on the study results, Canadian parents also believe having a strong imagination increases important personality traits later in life – such as innovation, problem-solving, independence and even overall happiness.
“What the findings of our study show is that there is a strong opportunity for us as parents to nurture imagination in our kids, and we want to help parents do that,” said Bentes, adding, in part, “we want to champion the imaginative power of kids – helping parents empower their children to see the unlimited potential that’s unlocked when they open up to their own imagination.”
To show just how imaginative kids can be, several months ago, Goldfish launched a special contest, FeedImagination ( www.FeedImagination.ca ), calling Canadian parents to share examples of their kids’ work for a chance to bring it to life on a variety of national platforms, including billboards and bus shelter displays, along with digital storybooks.
The response was overwhelming, with many submissions of children’s artwork sent in – some as young as five years old. The artwork captured the children’s imaginations in full colour, with minute details of everyday life. Five winners were selected from across Canada recently to have their artwork featured nationwide – on the country’s refrigerator door, to use one’s imagination!
“We wanted to provide Canadians with insights around the importance of imagination and its impact, especially now with families spending so much time at home,” said Bentes, adding the company is excited to reveal the findings in order to help parents as well as use the platform to celebrate just how imaginative children are. Parents can find additional tips on the #FeedImagination Hub – an online destination featuring content designed to feed and inspire children on and off screen.
Other key findings from The Goldfish Imagination Index:
Importance of Imagination for Children’s Development: Virtually all parents (at least 94%) agree that imagination helps their children develop a myriad of positive traits
– 97% of parents agree that a strong imagination will help their kids be happier and to thrive in life
– 94% of parents agree that a strong imagination will help their kids succeed academically
– 77% of Canadian parents point to excessive technology use as a key sign that they could use their imagination more. The other top signs are related to theme of kids having trouble creating their own fun/ideas (e.g. difficulty entertaining themselves 49%, getting bored easily 66%, needing help coming up with ideas on their own 46%)
Imagination as a “Constructive” Trait: When asked which activities encourage imagination, parents are most likely to say building or constructing things encourages imagination (99%), but also point to artistic activities, such as reading, acting or storytelling (97%).
Key Regional Findings :
– Parents in Quebec are less likely to say a strong imagination will help their children grow into strong leaders, but more likely to say imagination will help their children become team players.
– Parents in Atlantic Canada are more likely to say their children use their imaginations less than when they were growing up, and are also more likely to say encouraging imagination in their children is difficult.
– Parents in British Columbia are more likely to say they could use help encouraging imagination in their children.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2021