When my children were young, they had a basement full of toys. I had it set up so that there were “stations” in different areas of the room. Some of these stations concentrated on encouraging imaginative play, others helped improve small or large motor skills, while still others were meant to teach the basics needed for early childhood education. This is pretty typical of how a preschool or Kindergarten classroom might be set up. But I took it all one step further, I asked them to “think outside the box.” Each toy had a purpose, but I wanted them to think of how they could be used together to bring the experience of “play” to a new level. Just because a toy was meant as a garage for miniature cars to spiral down didn’t mean it couldn’t be a giant slide for small dolls. Blending the use of toys and encouraging a child’s imagination helps them to grow up thinking creatively about how to get things done.
I can’t tell you how many times teachers told me that my children don’t “focus.” They were not being distracted by anything in the classroom, they were being distracted by their own imaginations. I understand the need for children to focus and how much there is for their young minds to learn, but they also need to have an imagination. Imagination is what separates us from robots. It’s what makes us an asset to any undertaking. Imagination leads to creativity and without creativity there would be no inventions. Without inventions, there would be no progress. Think outside the box and unwrap your imagination!
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy