Friday, March 12, 2010

Power of Imagination

We have been talking about the world that God created. This week we had the gardening tools, gloves, seed packets, and tissue paper and chenille stems (to make flowers). I figured that the kids may enjoy playing with the items for a little while, but I didn't expect a lot of play. 

I was amazed at how much they got into their gardening/planting play. They used the tools to "dig" and "trowel" the carpet. 

They pretended to sprinkle seeds and water them. The spray bottle became "bug killer." 

Rows of tissue paper flowers appeared. They even gathered the flowers and put them in a pot to display.

Imagination is a powerful thing. We had no dirt, sand, or anything to dig in. Yet they did a lot of "digging" to prepare their gardens. We had no real or pretend seeds - just a couple of empty packets. Yet they planted and harvested several times. What looked to me as a simple, limited activity blossomed into an engaging activity of planning and cause-and-effect. All due to the power of imagination.

I've always believed and advocated letting children use their imaginations...choosing activities that allow them to test and use their own ideas. And now I'll never doubt the power of imagination again!

Photos by R. Scott Wiley


  1. How cool! My sons are both really into pretend play and sometimes it blows me away how they choose to use an object. A blanket is a ship, a picnic table, a cover for hiding, a top for a fort, a lake to go fishing in, a rope to save a lost dragon.

    When do people start to lose that? Or does it never completely go away, but people just suppress their imaginations?

    Kind-of unrelated: Last year I took a group of 4 and 5 year olds on a nature walk and had them exam "the world that God created." They had some deep and powerful insights: God always takes care of you, God appreciates diversity, since he made so many kinds of plants, God wants people to have fun, since he made helicopter trees. It was very cool.

  2. This is a great reminder to keep it simple. I know I tend to want to add all kinds of bells and whistles to things, but it's really unnecessary most of the time.

  3. Yes, simple fun - a few new props, and look what you get! A beautiful flower garden. I love that!

  4. This is the kind of thing that kept me occupied as a kid....and my parents.
    I think it's refreshing for kids to 'get away from it all' that I mean the TV, technology, you know..stuff pushed in their brain they don't necessarily have control over and next thing you know it is a major theme in their play.
    Love it, Scott!