“in the age of iPads and Netflix, we don’t want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world’s questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs.
Childhood is fleeting, so let’s make sure it’s fun while it lasts.”
A couple that sounds like a great set of parents finished their post about Dinovember with that quote. Dinovember is an annual event that they invented where their children’s dinosaurs “come to life” and wreck havoc on their house. I love it, it inspires me to make my classroom even more fun and creative. Anytime I hang a new spiderweb, decoration or piece of art I always pretend it just appeared the instant the students notice it. I try to have them think of how it could have possibly gotten there and if there are some critters involved I turn it into a huge act, usually about how I’m afraid of said critter and they need to help protect me. Then we always laugh and they realize that I just hung it up.
As a parent, a teacher, or just someone who is around children it is essential that we help develop their sense of imagination and wonder. They won’t be kids forever but if all of our children lose the creativity and imagination that comes with the simple naivety of being a child we are in bigger trouble than global climate change, oceans of plastic and all of the social injustices you can imagine.
Why is this so crucial for children? Without imagination we never would have had an iPod. Heck, there would be no computers, cars, art, music, etc. Without imagination kids too often lose the ability to think outside the box. We need innovators to come up with new solutions to fix the problems our generation has inherited. Young minds like this young lad who is trying to clean up our oceans of over 7 million tons of plastic!
So, as a parent, teacher, uncle or just friend of someone with kids; go out there and have fun with them. Get creative, come up with something that all your adult friends would laugh uncontrollably at you for doing and then laugh with the kids about it! Ask any grade school teacher, kids LEARN through play. Make their play fun and educational but also make it creative. You never know, maybe you’ll end up having more fun than the wee ones and maybe they’ll come up with a creative solution to a problem that truly is larger than life.