Use your imagination (part 2)…

26 Feb

My husband told me this story awhile ago.  He had a childhood friend, P. who loved the movie Star Wars.  (What boy didn’t back in the 1980’s?) Anyway, P. talked about playing “Star Wars” by himself out in his backyard and how much fun it was.  So, my husband decided to try this out.  (Huh?)  Apparently, my hubby had never thought of doing this before.  Granted he had 3 younger siblings (they are very close in age) and had plenty of playmates, so maybe he never had to play on his own.  My husband tried playing “Star Wars” all by himself in his backyard and found it “boring.” 

This story really surprised me.  I told him he was the exception, rather than the rule.  I spent many hours on my own, playing imaginary games, mostly about the books I read.  My sisters are 5 and 10 years younger than I am.  There were times when they were too young to play with, napping, or just couldn’t be outside unsupervised.  So I had to rely on my imagination for a playmate. 

My children who are very close (in age and in relationship) play these imaginary games together, but I’ve also seen them play them on their own.  When my son was younger his teachers would ask me why he would walk around the playground by himself (he prefers one/one play or small groups and large groups can stress him out) and talk the whole time.  Umm, he’s playing by himself?  I used to worry that he did that, but I remember so clearly doing that at school too when I was the same age.   I think it was his way of “decompressing” after having to be socially active in a classroom full of children.  My daughter doesn’t do this at school, since she’s incredibly social, but she does it here at home.  She’ll pace around and around our loop (kitchen, dining, living room areas) and talk through a “story.”   I have asked her many times what she is doing and her response:  “I’m telling myself a story.”   

My husband doesn’t really understand this.  (Well, he does, but he doesn’t understand how it can be entertaining, I guess.)  I still think he’s the exception rather than the rule.  I hope I’m right.

I guess I still use my imagination.  I have to, I work in a preschool.  I just find it frustrating that there seem to be more children who don’t know how to “tell themselves a story” using their imagination. 

Currently imagining myself on a beach where it is warm and sunny…



5 Responses to “Use your imagination (part 2)…”

  1. RC February 26, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    I don’t remember you ever being without me, so how could you ever play alone? 😉

    I am thinking back to our imaginary games as kids…

    Let me see, we ate raisins in water (soup) when we played house at Aunt Ann’s, Aaron and I made “chocolate milk” out of mud – and we threw in a few cigarette butts for good measure (mom was so not impressed with that one!). Then, we have the tag-like game, where if you got caught, your head would be cut off and put in the freezer (okay, so your head would be drawn on the concrete slab that we called the freezer). We had the drive-through restaurant that served disgusting dishes, including human parts, while we were doing dishes.

    I’m starting to think we were very disturbed children…

  2. mrsvierkant February 26, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    Disturbed doesn’t even begin to describe it. 😀

  3. sillyspring February 26, 2008 at 5:43 pm #

    one of my little guys, Jo, came to us when he was 5. he had absolutely NO concept of play, let alone imagination. it was a nightmare. but he picked it up quickly & in a few months he was as wacky as we were. Corban came to us when he was 1 1/2 from the hospital shelter. He didn’t even know what stuffed animals were- he thought they were real. It took him longer than Jo to come out of it, but he eventually did. We often take imagination for granted…… I don’t anymore. I get absolutely giddy watching my boys play now!
    nice blog! have a good night! 🙂

  4. mrsmacheide February 26, 2008 at 8:33 pm #

    I think I tend to be more like your husband. Even as a child I needed people to play with.

    As children two of my three seemed to be able to pretend by themselves but they always had props so maybe that’s not the same as you are discussing here. My third was more like me and needed someone to play with. My oldest pretended with his building toys and could play for hours using his imagination to make up plots. My oldest daughter, and middle child, also had a vivid imagination and used her stuffed animals as her babies when she played.

    I love watching children play. It brings joy to my heart.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog.

  5. Julie February 27, 2008 at 10:57 pm #

    Being the youngest of 4, I never had to entertain myself… Though I liked being by myself to read, when I played, I preferred playing with someone… Though I can remember playing dolls by myself some, when my friend Mary wasn’t available…

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