Although we were a bit late to start, the kids and I have been participating in MeMe Tales Readathon. If you haven’t signed up already, make sure to take advantage of this terrific opportunity to get the whole family reading together AND get FREE eBooks from MeMe Tales.
Each week of the Readathon has a specific theme. Week One was animals (I missed the ark on that one … get it?!?) Week Two was Friendship … here’s my post on kids’ answer to the question, “What does it mean to be a friend?”. Week Three was Character Development for which I wrote a post on Promoting Positive Behavior. AND, this week is IMAGINATION!
Imagination as a very important quality that parents need to nurture and honor within their children. For with imagination, I believe no problem can’t be surpassed. In this fast paced world we HAVE to help our children to develop to be creative thinkers and exercise their imaginations (just as much as their academic brains and physical bodies).
One of our favorite ways to do this is a game we play on the swings.
My 3 year old, Honor, has always LOVED the swings. She could literally stay on them all day and be quite content. That has meant a lot of time of me pushing her on the swings since she was too young to pump herself. Therefore, I developed a play activity due to my own boredom.
One day I asked her where did she want her swing to take her if she could go anywhere … she answered, “a Princess’s castle”. I asked her if she had a gown, jewels, and tiara. She played right along and answered, “yes.” Then, I pulled the swing really far back and high (well, as I could being the illustrious 5 feet tall that I am) and told her she was off to the Princess’s castle. And that’s how it started.
Since then the places she … and her brother … and her cousins … and all the neighborhood kids … have been are endless. Places such as each specific Disney Princess’s castle, flower gardens, under the sea, different tracks of Mario Kart, outer space, a blade of grass, a rock, and my daughter’s personal made-up favorite, the Princess Jungle. Each time we talk about the things that the traveler will need on their journey (maybe sunscreen, bug spray, gravity boots, scuba gear, etc) and I remind them to send me a postcard and to take lots of pictures. Of course, I ham it up a bit at times with rocket ship countdowns and the such to add in extra pieces of reality.
I love that it’s a free activity that they can do pretty much anytime and will be able to continue (even on their own) throughout childhood. I love that it breaks the barriers of time and space. I love that it makes my kids think about about the qualities of the location and strengthens problems solving skills (what would you need there?). But most of all, I love the smiles that they have on their faces when we are playing.
Imaginative play allows children to explore and learn about their world.
In play you can do or be anything.
How will YOU let YOUR imagination SWING?
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Laura Hutchison (aka PlayDrMom) is a chubby kid turned competitive figure skater tween turned high school pom pon girl turned MSU Spartan turned grad student turned Mrs. HutcH turned Dr. turned Mom. She adores living in the Mitten, is addicted to Diet Coke, and firmly believes that ice cream is a main food group.