Monday, April 21, 2014

Imagination: Thank God my kids have it

Recently my husband and I were discussing how much we see the children of today with some sort of electronic device, sitting around glued to the screen of their ipods, tablets or phones. It made me think of my own childhood and the lack of electronic toys that we had.  When I was a little girl I would go outside everyday and play in the dirt, building whole worlds out of rocks and sticks. I  remember that we would spend whole afternoons building  "frog houses", I'm sure I need to explain that. We would put our hands or feet flat on the ground and covered them with wet dirt, packing it down really good. Then we would pull out or hand/foot and it would leave an opening in the dirt.  We would build them and make little roads to and from. We built whole neighborhoods and then would pretend rocks were cars, because we didn't have any cars to play with.

Getting ready to build our "frog house".

You have to pack that wet dirt down really good!

Now slowly pull your foot out. 

Smooth out the entrance and you have.....

......our completed "frog house". 

I remember a time when a stick would become a sword, a digging tool or even a gun. A pillowcase could be a super hero cape, a sack or even turn you into a ghost.  A box would be anything from a car to a boat to a spaceship. A flower pot, a few household items, a few outdoor things and a toy tea pot could become a Fairy garden for Tinkerbell (see picture below).

I am not trying to say that electronics are bad, they do have a use in our society.  It just distresses me as I look around and see all these children, even little toddlers with some type of "device" in their hands. It seems they have no idea what is going on around them and I have to wonder what has happened to imagination?

Our children are limited to thirty minutes of technology time a day.  I try to encourage pretend/imaginative play.  They play board games, play with dolls,  blocks, read books and stay outside  when the weather permits.  Maybe all of this comes from my Early Childhood Education background, but I sincerely believe that children learn from play, no matter their age. 

Without imagination we would have no more inventors, authors, artists, the list goes on and on. Let us, as parents, take the opportunity to foster imagination in our children so that future generations can see how very important it is.

 I have to say I had an awesome childhood!!

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

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