A Child’s Imagination is an Insight to their World
A child’s imagination is more than just make believe, it is an area that sparks their creativity like no other an outlet for them, leading to open ended play and endless possibilities where they can be anything they want to be. It is fantastic aspect of childhood an imagination that allows you to be exactly who you want to be in that moment. The child makes the rules, it is their world and anything goes in the world of an imaginative child. Children have imaginations that are not bound by real life rules, it becomes their own fantasy, their passion, their dream; it is fun and exciting of course you can wear a tiara and be a fighting ninja pirate who wants to be on Australia’s Got Talent. Real life in adulthood will come soon enough, let them be who they want to be today, the real world is round the corner and their imagination is their innocence, their happiness and not who they will become tomorrow.
A Child’s Imagination Creates The Best Toy Ever!
“Darling can you throw that rubbish out” I say to Mr 7, looking at the mangled up paper tube that has been sitting on the coffee table for three days.
“What rubbish mum?” “The screwed up wrapping paper tube, go and put in the recycle bin please” Mr 7 picks up the totally out of shape paper tube and bounds over to me “Mummy this isn’t rubbish, this is the best toy in the world ever, it is so many things that I want it to be”
So I ask Mr 7 to show me what his best toy in the world ever does, and little did I know that it could do so many things. We have had light sabre challenges in the lounge at Christmas with cardboard tubes, made robots by gluing them to cereal boxes, slides for Mr 7 Lego people and cut them open to make ramps for his cars. What else could this tube be in Mr 7’s imagination?
Well of course, it is a harp, as Mr 7 demonstrates as he sings in an operatic voice which apparently is very relaxing for him and his toys. He just has to whip out his harp and sing and he feels more relaxed. “Mum are you feeling relaxed as I sing with my harp?” “Yes I am it is lovely singing and harp playing” Whilst he sings and plays he has the funniest yet serious like look on his face. Mr 7 really gets into his role playing.
Then it is a bow and arrow “You know mum for when I’m a soldier or a hunter like in the olden times like when you were little, the men had bows and arrows to hunt for food. Did your dad hunt for your food mum?”
“Not really sweetheart, he went to the shops to buy it, but I do remember his brother in Spain hunting rabbits”
“Rabbits mum! To collect and keep as a pet?” “Uhmm no not really to keep as a pet but to eat”
“Wow that’s…” Now Mr 7 is a sensitive soul and I thought he was about to get upset that my uncle hunted rabbits. “…Amazing was he like a cavemen, or Robin Hood? I just pretend mum, you know that don’t you? I’m not really hurting anything” ” Yes I know you are pretending, you have a good imagination”
Now he starts to swing the tube around his head “Can you guess what it is now mum?” I’m watching him jump and spin and shout out “Pow, gotcha, I have the powers, I am a ninja who can get the dragon with just one throw!”
Standing there watching him doing his Taekwondo moves with the battered tube in his hands “Do you know what it is mum?” I felt a little dread, it looks like a weapon, not a gun, possibly a sword albeit a twisted sword. My little man is an eclectic mix of qualities he is as I have mentioned before sensitive, aware and with a strong sense of justice. One minute he is running around the garden in a tutu chasing imaginary fairies whilst hip hop dancing and the next he is a cowboy riding his imaginary horse chasing baddies. We have many toys at home, we talk about non violence and he is an orange belt in Taewkondo where they are taught never to use any martial art techniques unless they are in danger of their lives.
So what is this tube? It is a nun-chuck (nunchaku) a weapon, a weapon he knows we do not use alongside guns, swords etc… in real life. His toys the Ninja Turtles and his Ninjago Lego have them as accessories but right now he is using his imagination in his own world of fighting an imaginary dragon to save his mum the queen as he babbles off in alien talk as some aliens are helping him fight the gigantic dragon with three heads.
Children learn about life through play, as a parent it is my responsibility to educate my children about being non violent, they understand that imaginary play is just that play, my son like many children will use imaginary weapons in his playing. I can ban the toy weapons but they will still play like this at kinder and in the playground at school, it is a stage. A stage that passes and normally playing footy or a sport takes over. You do not see many older boys playing guns, nun-chucks and swords in the playground. My children comprehend weapons are extremely dangerous, they are not violent children unless fighting a three headed dragon in their imaginary world.
A Child’s Imagination is their Childhood
For imaginative play there are no restrictions (have a safe environment) for a child to explore. If your child struggles with imaginative play, help get them started, you can act out a story they like, you can write your own story or one of my personal favourites which I use a lot when working with children is called ‘Imagine If’. I’d love to hear how imaginative you were as a child and are your children imaginative too, just leave your comment scrolling down below.