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Monday, September 10, 2012

Imagination



If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you may recognize the title. No, I’m not recycling that very first post. It must be babysitting the grandkiddies for several days that brings this topic to mind. Every time Hubs and I watch the 2½ and 5 year old, I am always amazed at their imaginations. The stories they make up as they play make me laugh and fill me with awe. They are very verbal children, taking after their mother and grandmother, I’m sure. I hope they never lose the fun and enjoyment of playing pretend.

I can’t remember where I first heard about a terrific website for children to make up stories. If you have children or grandchildren, you should check out this free site: http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/storymaker/  I tried it yesterday with the 5-year-old. What fun we had. There were a few questions at the beginning to help her get started. Then there were choices of pictures for settings, characters and objects to “drop” into the story. From there, she made up her story. She got the biggest laugh out of the castle that dropped onto the rose already in the picture. When we were finished, we printed out the pictures and story. She was thrilled. With no prompting from her grandmother, mind you, the title of her story was How a Girl Fell in Love with a Boy and ended with “they lived happily ever after”. Is that a budding romance writer or what? I still can’t get over how proud my granddaughter was to hold her very own “book” in her hands. It even had the title with her name as author on the “cover”. I think it’s going to kindergarten tomorrow.

Of course, you don’t need a computer program to help kids write their stories. Printing their words as they dictate the story to you and letting them draw pictures works well. That’s what I did for my kids in the pre-computer days. The important thing is that we don’t stifle their efforts. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, many children lose their imaginations either through neglect or discouragement.

Encouraging children to use their imaginations is something we need to do. Without imagination, where would we writers get the ideas for the books we write? The screenplays? The movies? If dreamers didn’t dream, where would our inventors come up with new and creative objects we can't do without? What would make a scientist explore new ideas? Why would explorers set off for new worlds?



Fostering imagination in our children doesn’t take money. It only takes our time and patience.






Come on back on Thursday to meet Michigan author Rohn Federbush.

12 comments:

  1. What fun! You're the kind of grandma every kid should have. I'm marking that web site. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. What a nice thing to say, Elysa. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I can't wait until my youngest granddaughter is a little older (and talking) so that we can use this website. Sounds like so much fun!

    Young people definitely need to be encouraged to create stories. So much of their school time is spent learning the concrete concepts, and the creative side is often not encouraged. But it's imagination that fuels everything from the space program to international relations. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I'll bet your granddaughter will enjoy the site when she's older. My 2.5 yo grandson is still too young. He doesn't sit down for long. :)

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  3. I agree, Diane, you're an awesome grandmother! And I'm sure your little granddaughter will love show & tell at kindergarden with her very first novel!

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. She'll be home shortly so I'm curious, too, about what she told her class.

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  4. Our 7-yr old great-granddaughter always has her nose in a book. (grinning) So we'll be trying this game soon. Thanks for the great blog, Diane.

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    1. Thanks, Loralee. Isn't it great to see kids reading?

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  5. I'm marking the website too. Thanks for sharing. You sound like a good grandma. Am I right?

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    1. LOL I hope so, Margo. I'm having so much fun being a grandma.

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  6. Great blog, Diane. Although that website sounds wonderful, I'm sure it was your presence that made the experience one your granddaughter will remember. And in stimulating her imagination, bet you also stimulated your own. We definitely can learn from the young ones.

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  7. Thanks, Maris. I have to admit I really enjoyed the experience.

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