“If you can imagine things aren’t quite what they seem, and dream of possibilities that only you can dream of, then anything is possible.” ─ Bart Vivian

Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have an imagination. You wouldn’t be able to fly to the moon and summersault back to earth on a moonbeam. You wouldn’t be able to slay the fiery dragon and save the village from ruin. Or the family van wouldn’t transform into a sporty Corvette for your special date. Of course, if you didn’t have an imagination, you wouldn’t be able to imagine any of that anyway. Pity the thought.

Imaginations need to be nurtured through creative or free play. It’s important to encourage children to use what’s in their mind’s eye to dream the impossible.

An article, debating whether academics or creative play are better for young children, caught my eye. In my opinion, there is merit to both ways of thinking.

Academics are important, and we need to make sure our children are given the best education we can offer them so they are well-prepared for the future. I also believe creative play is just as important and should be encouraged. Creative play – especially in groups – promotes use of imagination, social interaction, and problem solving. These are life skills that help make a well-rounded person.

There’s a picture book in our library called Imagine written and illustrated by Bart Vivian. I like this book because it’s about believing in yourself and dreaming of possibilities. It begins with a double page spread with spare text and a picture of an everyday event. When the page is turned, there is more text to accompany the picture on the opposite side. The picture shows how the ordinary event from the previous page becomes extraordinary with the use of imagination.

This book provides a perfect way to stimulate creative thinking as students try to guess what the outcome of the ordinary event will be. It’s also a jumping-off point for some creative play and interaction among the students.

Imagination gives you immeasurable possibilities. As parents and educators we need to encourage our children to use their gifts. In the meantime, wake up your own imagination and tell me what possibilities you see.

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