Imagination is a wonderful gift from God and I am so thankful that He shared it with His children. I love that God didn’t plunk us down in a black and white, cookie cutter world. He gave us colors, textures, a gazillion different shapes and sizes and put them together in ways we could not even begin to imagine in our finite minds. But His creativity doesn’t simply please the eye; it tickles our ears and fills our hearts as well.
Because God shared it with His children I totally believe it is important to share with ours. We need to teach them to look outside the box and to see tables and blankets as building materials for forts; wooden spoons and Tupperware as musical instruments; blankets/sheets tacked to door frames as a stage for sock and brown paper bag puppets and to never lose their sense of wonder.
Unfortunately we have hindered the development of our children’s imagination rather than encouraged it. We have scheduled their lives since birth from the time they get up until they go to sleep at night. We have mistaken technology as tools for developing imagination when in fact we have stunted their creativity. We have taken their play time and put them in organized sports/classes etc in hopes they will receive a scholarship in the future, which doesn’t come for most.
Unstructured play time is the place where imagination blossoms. Imaginary friends are invited to tea parties and fight dragons to save the damsels in distress. Hairbrushes become microphones; bites are taken out of potato chips to make guns; sticks become swords/guns/magic wands and towels and pillow cases become capes that enable children to leap over tall buildings in a single bound (well maybe a footstool) ;)
It is time to stop further shrinkage of the imagination. Older women teach the younger women the importance of developing their child’s imagination.Grandmothers and Grandfathers can also help to stimulate their grandildren’s imagination by telling them stories, playing make believe games (like going on a “bear” hunt) etc. If the younger women are stretched too thin working, raising children, caring for their homes and loving their husbands; then I say get in touch with your inner child and jump in and create your own imagination station. Make forts, blow bubbles, have tea parties, make mud pies. You know you want to!