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FLIP-It for schools and home-schooling parents.


Module 3 of the FLIP-it Thinking model, helping parents and children to use their power of imagination. You’ll also find it easier to spot and FLIP your imagination when it’s not so helpful. For more modules and topics go to our online learning page.


Last week we looked at the L for Language part of our FLIP-it Thinking model. This week we’re moving on to the I for Imagination.

Sarah Creegan: Introduction to I for Imagination

Sarah Creegan explains how parents can help their children to FLIP any Wonky Thoughts they might be having

Use Your Imagination to Achieve Your Potential

If you have crazy imaginations like us, then you will know that you can spend a lot of time procrastinating or thinking the worst. However, if we can tune in and use our imaginations to help us visualise doing well then, we open up our maximum potential. Join Victoria in an exercise to prove it!


Reading time approx. 5 mins. The I in FLIP-It Thinking stands for Imagination. In these top tips, parents and children can learn how to fire up their imagination to help them to cope better. Also, how to recognise when their imagination isn’t being so helpful, and what to do about it.


When children are very young, they have fantastic imaginations. But by the time they are in Years 5 and 6, there are very few children in the playground playing imaginative games.

That’s because they:

  • Are worried what their friends will think
  • Have started to develop a sense of F.E.A.R.
  • Are more aware of social conventions, and being right or wrong - it’s more comfortable to play a game with rules

There will be some positives to come out of the tricky times we’re currently experiencing. At Laughology, we believe that lockdown provides the perfect opportunity to get everyone thinking more imaginatively. In turn, this helps parents and children to cope better too.

Here’s how.

Ensuring our imagination is helpful

Our imagination can be one of our most powerful tools, but it can also be really unhelpful.

F.E.A.R stands for False Expectations Appearing Real. If people imagine that something is going to go badly, then there’s a good chance it will! But if we imagine a more positive result, we’re more likely to be successful. We’ll also apply ‘can-do’ thinking and language. For a reminder about Focus and Language see Module 1 and Module 2 of FLIP-it Thinking.

  • Instead of imagining your family in a crumpled heap at the end of another day of home learning, visualise yourselves on a podium with gold medals round your necks, soaking up the cheers. Encourage your child to practise positive visualisation too - how do they see themselves at 3.15pm?
  • Build mindfulness into your day and practise it with your child. By taking a bit of time to concentrate on your breathing, or really enjoy the look, smell and taste of a piece of chocolate, you get into the great habit of calming your overactive thoughts. If you want to know how mindfulness positively impacts the brain and reduces anxiety, click here.

Using our imagination to have fun

Have you ever said, ‘I’m just not imaginative’? That’s not true – you’re just out of practice, thanks, in the main, to Google.

  • People who enjoy solving problems, are better able to cope when they’re faced with one. Start each day by firing up everyone’s creative thinking with a BIG question that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. At Laughology we call these Thunks. Go to the DO! section of Module 3 to see how Laughology’s Ed and his friend, Serious Ed, thrash out a Thunk. There’s also a step-by-step PowerPoint to help you start Thunking as a family.
  • When life returns to normal, we want children to have maintained a healthy enthusiasm for learning, so use your imagination to make home learning fun. On a sunny day, why not fill up the paddling pool and get your little one to work out number bonds to 10 using their toes, rather than on a worksheet?
  • And remember, we live in a world filled with technology. Google could be your best problem-solving friend at the moment, with hundreds of ‘fun Easter/maths/art’ activities at the touch of a button. There are even top tips for how to have the best water fight – in case you’re wondering what to do once the number bonds are sorted!



Here, we set you some family challenges to boost your imaginations. Why not download the PowerPoint and watch the film clip to see how to get Thunking. Or look at the lesson plan to find out more about Positive Visualisation.

Activity sheet – How to Thunk (Powerpoint)

Children (and parents) who have great problem solving skills are going to cope well when faced with tricky situations. Here’s a step-by-step guide, which will help the whole family to become better Thunkers.

House on Fire Thunk

For this Thunk, let’s have a think about what is most important to us in our homes (seeing as we’re spending a lot of time there at the moment!) If your house was on fire, what 3 things would you save (excluding people) and why?

Download a lesson plan – Positive Visualisation

This lesson plan can easily be done at home, with children of any age. If we’re having negative thoughts, we can quickly shift them to positive ones by thinking about people, places and events that make us happy. Try this family challenge to find out how.

Coming up...

Next week we move onto the P of FLIP It Thinking. P stands for Pattern Breaking.

Free virtual workplace learning & development classrooms. Register now.

big chat about mental health logo


Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

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