Imagination plays an important role in brain development. Reading and creating stories help children learn to think on their own and connect several thoughts together. Encourage children to elaborate their stories. Ask them why their characters performed certain actions, or how their invention works.
Some Children may need help starting, give them a picture to explain, or a few sentences to get them started. Most important give them plenty of time to read! While reading they have to fill in the missing information.
"In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark. The only light came from great floodlamps mounted on the buildings and at the tops of poles in the middle of the larger squares. When the lights were on, they cast a yellowish glow over the streets; people walking by threw long shadows that shortened and then stretched out again." - The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
The story has great description sparking imagination, but leaves room for the children to fill in the blanks. They fill in what the buildings look like, what the streets are made from, and what the people creating the shadows look like.
Imagination and creativity will take a child far, the world was once flat, entire populations didn't exists; it takes an imagination to see the possibilities of the future.