Imagination September 04 2013, 3 Comments

Kids are amazing, aren't they? The ability to believe wholeheartedly in what they've been imagining in their play. I wonder when it wears off? And are the children of today losing some of the sense of magic and innocence that I had as a child of the 80's?

I can remember as a child putting our thinking caps on (they were stored in the handle bars of our bikes for emergencies), and coming up with ideas of what we were going to get up to next.

One memorable day we imagined that there was a lion on the loose, and we had to protect ourselves and our trusty horses (our bikes) from them. We were so caught up in the game that we were beside ourselves with fear when our attempts to lift our horses into the safety of a trailer resulted in one of the tyres coming loose and rolling down the hill! Oh, the bravery our friend exhibited in running after it, under the teeth of a roaring lion, then to be hauled to safety by my sister and I, triumphant and safe – and possibly lacking some skin.

I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was around 10, so this happened sometime after that. It's hard to see the tech savvy 10 year old of today running in terror from an imaginary lion. Much more likely to be hunting down said lion on the screen of the latest play station game. 

Not that I am against technology, being that child of the 80's meant that I was one of the first generation to learn computing at school – remember the Commadore 64? I used to do my Mum's work graphs for her, aged 9. And I am typing this blog out on my iPad right now (and having to go back and fix all the autocorrect changes!).

With our busy lives, surrounded by mobile phones, access to the web at all times, devices at the ready with apps to distract you, sometimes it is easier to pass your child the iPad to play with than send them out to play pirates in the garden. And sometimes that is absolutely fine.

But not all the time. We need our children to know how to imagine, to think, to dream. How else are they going to come up with fabulous new ideas that will make pots of cash and support us in our old age? I mean, contribute to society in meaningful ways....

Can you remember getting so engrossed in your games as a child that it all seemed real? Sometimes too much so?

Do your children do that now?

I'd love your to hear your thoughts, please comment below.