Use your imagination.

25 Feb

I remember using my imagination and could play for hours on end.  Both of my sisters had imaginary friends and had great imaginations too.  My two children at the ages of 9.5 and almost 12 have fabulous imaginations and rely on them for their “games” they play.  They tell joint “stories” together that are quite detailed and I think because of this they are both very creative children.  (That could just be proud momma talking.)

What amazes me how many children don’t use their imagination, or maybe they haven’t learned how.  I have several very bright children in my classroom who just don’t get it.  They are puzzled as to why I use a puppet and pretend that it’s real, and they are always pointing out the “unrealistic” aspects of a story.  For example, bears can’t talk and don’t wear clothes, so it really bothers these children that the bears are doing this in a story and they like to vocalize it, frequently.  Whenever a puppet is out, I am reminded that it’s not real.  I’ve found myself prefacing a story or the use of a puppet by saying “we’re going to use our imagination” or “let’s pretend.”  I’ve been working a lot on pretending and imagination.  It makes me sad when a child doesn’t know how to pretend.  It’s as if they’ve grown up too fast, I guess.

I suppose we could place blame on television, video games and computers.  My children use those things and their imaginary games are often “spin-offs” of their electronic environment.  However, they aren’t just mimicking what they see or hear, but they expand on it with their imaginations and creativity.  We do limit their time on these things, and we encourage plenty of free play.  Maybe that encourages their imaginations, I don’t know.

I wish I could impress upon parents not to rigorously schedule their children’s lives.  I wish I could tell parents to limit television, video games and other electronics.  I do tell parents to read to their children, everyday.  At least 3 storybooks a day, and repetition of these stories is important.  Let your children play.  Academics and sports are important, however so is imagination and creativity.  Imagination and creativity is fostered by free play, not work sheets. 

We have plenty of free play at our preschool and it’s nice to see these children grow with that element of our education.  I sincerely hope that parents are following through at home.  I’m hoping to express this at conferences, especially for the children who find it difficult.

Mrs. V

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2 Responses to “Use your imagination.”

  1. Julie February 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    It’s hard to imagine a preschool child who can’t understand puppets or pretending…

  2. RC February 25, 2008 at 9:54 pm #

    Are you referring to your other sisters – Bertha and Gertrude? Those poor girls… Lost and gone forever.

    It is sad, really, that J never got to meet them. 😉

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