Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Imagination....my castle is a cardboard box
Yesterday, we spent the day playing inside most of the day. It started with the girls making an "ocean" out of a blue blanket. The "ship" was my laundry basket. And lots of stuffed animals for fish in the sea. It's amazing the number of actual sea animals we had for stuffed animals, there was a giant squid, an octupus, two dolphins, for a few. Livie had her sword, as she was a pirate. We made giant waves by rocking the "boat" around.
Later, Violet wanted to look up some crafts on Enchanted Learning, which by the way is well worth paying the membership fee for. She found a craft to make a cardboard castle and a Kachina doll. As you can see, they had lots of fun playing with the castle, filling it up with Dora people, Fisher Price little people, and lego furniture. The moat was a Finding Nemo book, opened up (see the water and fish!) I think she (Livie) enjoyed it more than she does the Dora talking house that she has...... Violet, then went to work at making the Kachina doll. At first, she said her theme would be "water", but while making it she decided to make it "sun". We used a toilet paper roll, and plastic ball, paints, yarn, stickers and glue. It turned out very nice! We also spent the day painting, drawing, and Violet has started journaling in a pirate's notebook that she got from McD's last night with her dad.
Imagination costs nothing. It provides hours of entertainment. It is an enormous opportunity for learning, interaction, fun. I'm guilty of buying things for my girls which I know will be quickly forgotten, and will have been a waste of money. To keep the imagination alive is to keep creativity alive. I know my girls are creative, and I love to give them the opportunities to keep it nurtured through creative play.
Not having much money when we were kids, I remember making Barbie houses out of cardboard boxes, furniture out of egg cartons, and my mom would make all of my Barbie's clothes. We have the means to "buy" these things today, but why? Children's imagination does not see a cardboard box, it sees a castle.