Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Imagination

Today is Tuesday, which means it's time for the ABC's of Homeschooling over at 5 Kids and a Dog. This week, it's time for letter I.

I is for Imagination

One of the things I enjoy most about being home with the small people all the time is watching them use their imaginations when they're playing. When a container of pattern blocks becomes a pizza or the front yard becomes a spy's domain, my heart leaps with joy. It makes me sad when children need to be entertained by an electronic device or an adult in order to overcome boredom. I want my children to be able to create their own entertainment, to lose themselves in their imaginative play.
  • Imagination helps children with problem solving skills. Through imaginative play, children have to think through solutions to problems that occur in their play.
  • Imagination helps children improve vocabulary skills. Through telling made-up stories or reading works of fiction, children expand their vocabulary base.
  • Imagination helps children grow up to be adults who are creative thinkers. Without imagination, would Alexander Graham Bell have invented the telephone? Would Thomas Edison have invented the lightbulb?
  • Imagination helps children understand reality. In a 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Harris, who is a development psychologist and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education studying imagination, said, "Whenever you think about the Civil War or the Roman Empire or possibly God, you're using your imagination." 
I want all of those things for my children, and if encouraging them to use their imaginations will help them to achieve bigger and better things, that is wonderful.

I have to laugh because, as I was writing this, Sassy just came downstairs dressed in one of the twins' old dance costumes and play high heels to tell me that she just jumped into the water in her room because "the blanket is the water and these (holding up her high heels) are my pool shoes." Imagination at work!

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