I know my brain is capable of imagination. This morning I work up in the middle of a very detailed dream. I was exploring the many unusual rooms of a fixer-upper we bought. It had a perfect children’s room with a slide instead of a door to get out and over the garage was a theater room not with a stupid big TV but with a stage and curtain and old fancy woodwork. The only downside was that it had a big hole in the attic floor you could fall into. And we were trying to deciding if we had the money to fix it or if we should just lock the attic door. Weird, but what a cool house! So why is it that my mind goes blank when I sit on the floor to play with my kids? My kids are so good at imaginative play. They set up the Imaginext toys or their stuffed animals and act out elaborate story lines. Sometimes they want me to play with them and I just dread it. I feel like I am no good at it! And I think of myself as a creative person?!
My question… Where does our imagination go when we grow up? Most things kids do improve as they get older but imagination and creativity seem to hit a peak and then these skills start to get replaced with more grown up interests. When I do sit down to play with my kids and I make my stuffed animal talk and do things, my kids think I am fabulous but it bothers me how illogical and not very clever I sound. I have a hard time just going with it and a lot of times I end up getting sleepy or tidying up while they play.
So back to dreams. Obviously our grown up minds are still imaginative. Dreams are proof. This is good news! We don’t actually lose it at all. It seems to be buried during the day in our minds under what I theorize to be logic and fear. And I get sleeping because it’s hard work digging it out from under all those piles of logic and fear. We know creativity and imagination are valued in adults. This is why I have my kids take acting classes. It is the source of all innovation in virtually any pursuit. Can you imagine how awesome and slightly crazy it would be if people spontaneously started roll playing ideas in business meetings?! I know my kids benefit from imaginative play and by joining in my example encourages them and might help them hold on to and continue to grown their imagination.
Also by becoming more imaginative outside of dreams, I may come up with great ideas to blog about. Hey!
I know creativity and imagination are connected. Creativity is something I am more comfortable with as a professional designer, art enthusiast, and shy person. In addition to researching this subject, I may try taking my How to be Creative techniques (which work well for me) and applying them to being more imaginative.
- Follow my children’s lead and be inspired by their imagination
- Remember the goal is to be imaginative not logical; channel my inner 5 year old
- Try imaginative play outside; nature is really magical and sets a perfect stage!
- Practice being imaginative everyday
Do you enjoy imaginative play? Is it a subject that interests you? Please share your tips for being more imaginative, book suggestions, and links!
Imagination (recommended children’s books that celebrate imagination)