Research Shows the Importance of Imagination in Children’s Cognitive Development

Is the Tooth Fairy real? How about the garbage man? Those questions may seem trivial, but how young children answer them is an important indicator of cognitive development.

For years, imagination was thought of as a way for children to escape from reality, and once they reached a certain age, it was believed they would push fantasy aside and deal with the real world. But, increasingly, child-development experts are recognizing the importance of imagination and the role it plays in understanding reality. Imagination is necessary for learning about people and events we don’t directly experience, such as history or events on the other side of the world. For young kids, it allows them to ponder the future, such as what they want to do when they grow up.

Wall Street Journal: The Power of Magical Thinking

(Thanks Bill!)


  1. “Most of the kids in the study were Christian, and the numbers of those who believed in Santa would likely be smaller if there were children of other religious backgrounds in the sample.”

    Can a kid be a Christian, or is that just something their parents say they are? What would happen if you tested for belief in Jesus the same way you tested for belief in Santa? An interesting article, but avoids asking a more interesting question: how are children raised as atheists or without religion doing compared to those in other families?

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