What does this word mean? Well, the clue is the word "idea". Ideation means having an idea in your head that you want to action. You may see the idea visually or you may think it in words or you may just get a sense of it. Either way, these are ideas.
Do you have ideas? Where do they come from? Are they triggered by what someone else is saying, by what you read, or by what you see? All good. Your brain is working.
Some children's brain's don't work well in this way. Some wiring in the brain is different and causes Dyspraxia. The ideation phase is one step in the praxic working of the brain. The next step is planning out how to achieve the idea. The third step is organising the physical actions and executing them. Some children have issues with just one of these steps, and other children have issues with 2 or all 3 of these steps.
Signs of a lack of ideation:
1. Lots of physical running around with no play or imaginative purpose.
2. Repeating of the same play pattern, over and over, with no extension or adaptation. A child may be able to stack blocks and yet not be able to do anything else with the blocks. Just think - how often do we as adults stack blocks with children. Often!! So they see and are encouraged to stack.
3. Enjoyment and choosing of activities that require no ideas or planning - watching T.V. or other screens, mechanised toys, wanting a large amount of time listening to stories. Passive activities.
4. Lots of crashing/smashing play - crashing cars and other toys.
5. Watching other children and then, at a later stage, imitating the actions, with no understanding of the purpose.
What to do?
Teach the child play sequences. Take note of how other children of a similar age, play contructively and aim to teach these to the child. Start from where they are at or what they are interested in. Extend and adapt any play they are repeating. For example: If a child only stacks blocks, make a garage alongside, explaining how you are doing it. Drive the car in and out. Make a road to go with it. Ask the child to make another garage. Give step by step instructions, if needed. And then over time, reduce how much you instruct or help.
Limit screen time.
Ban crashing games, except if part of purposeful play. (Which may be one crash in a sequence and then involve rescue and hospital play) Teach other ways to play with the cars or objects being crashed.
Discussions, including "What if we do......?", "I've got an idea. We could do this, or this. Then this might happen".
Help a child recall what he has done in play by going over it at a later stage. Reinforce how s/he organised and planned the idea.
Some children (people) have ideas but are unable to plan them or carry them out.