Children’s Imaginary Worlds

 

“Logic will get you from A to Z; Imagination will get you everywhere.” –Albert Einstein

Children are masters at imagination. They can often find many uses for an object that adults can overlook. A laundry hamper can be a basketball goal, a box can be a spaceship, and a stick can be a wand or a sword.  This imagination that children have can add extra value to places that help form their sense of identity.

The act of pretending is important for children, because it builds valuable life skills. Lexington Montessori School in Massachusetts has seen these skills develop as kids build forts using the branches and other outside materials during their outside play time. Using their imagination in unstructured play in building these forts taught the students not only about the nature surrounding them, but how to work together and solve conflicts that arose within the fort community. Those who were in charge of the forts even learned good leadership skills, whereas they would not have been in a place of leadership if it was not for these forts, (Powell).

This Imaginary play at LMS gave value to the forts. The children would put work into them not only year round, but would continue on the next year as well, (Powell). The effort they placed into building these forts gave them not only a sense of accomplishment, but a sense of ownership and control over something.  In school there is not much room for kids to be given that control and to let them do as they see fit. This type of play gives them room to make mistakes and learn from them.

Kids at LMS reported that the forts helped give them a sense of identity (Powell). The forts allowed them to grow as individuals while obtaining a common goal in constructing the fort. This let them explore who they were and see more of their classmates as well.  This place attachment to the clubs is what gave them stability to grow as the people and time changed around them, (Spencer).

As a young child my brothers and I had a place that was similar to the forts these kids were building. We had these trees out behind our house with a dirt road that went from the highway all the way to this big ditch we called the creek. This path is what gave this place our very unimaginative name called The Path. We had many adventures throughout our childhood in The Path. To help remind you about some of your past childhood experiences while showing you a little more about my favorite place. Try taking your own adventure in The Path.

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