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The Power of Imagination

The power of imagination

Imagination is incredibly powerful! I am always amazed at the things my three children come up with. Six-year-old Emma created the Zen-like garden play set pictured above. It’s a creative, calming activity that she enjoys, as well as a fun sensory experience.

child-created zen garden set

Two-year-old Lily is my most verbal child, and her imaginary worlds live within her head, requiring few props. I’ve seen her play for hours with simple strips of paper that become people, buildings, cars – whatever she needs for her small world play.

Four-year-old creating drawings

Four-year-old Johnny has a passion for drawing. He rarely talks about the things he draws, but creates amazing worlds full of characters and props – based off of real life, inspired by books and signs he sees, and completely original creatures of his own making.

four-year-old imagination

How do you see your children using their imagination?

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

29 thoughts on “The Power of Imagination”

  1. Such a great post about the uniqueness of each of your children and their imaginations! That zen garden is great and the pic of your 2 little girls is adorable! And what a drawer Johnny is!

  2. What a lovely post – there’s nothing more exciting for me as a parent than seeing my kids’ imaginations run wild! My two are much like your Lily – very verbal and living in a world of near-constant imaginary play – with or without any props. My two year old was playing ‘pirates and princesses’ this morning with a bunch of cushions and a piece of net-like fabric – alone, for over half an hour, with constant dialogue. Like with Lily, this is completely normal for her. I love it! The imagination is, indeed, a powerful tool for learning and living!

  3. Emma and Annika are similar…and Johnny and Luke!
    I love the garden!
    I love how good you are at letting your kids explore their imagination!
    Lets be neighbors!? :)

  4. I always love to see how your children use their imaginations. I think this is where playmates and siblings are super important, because they feed off each other’s ideas. A stone can become a kitten, and another stone can be a wolf – no toys or props needed when children are in the flow of their imaginative games.

    1. Dyed rice would be very fun on a light table! Which reminds me, making one of those is on my to-do list…

  5. jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa

    I think our children would really enjoy playing together!

    In our home nothing is what it is! The children are always creating and pretending. All it takes are a few twist ties, straws, scraps of paper, rocks, twigs, shells . . . MacGyver tends to build and construct amazing projects. Miss Enigma is always singing, talking and creating scenarios. She knows no limits on her imagination. When they put together their strengths and interest they can play for hours with little or no toys.

    Currently, one of their favorite games is to play “Spy Dog” with our dog Shadow out in the backyard. There friends even get in on this pretend spy game. :)

    1. “Spy Dog” sounds like a very exciting game!

      And yes, I think our children would have a fantastic time together!

  6. Elisa | blissfulE

    It’s so great how their different personalities come through the way each child approaches creative play. I’ve noticed a general trend where Nikki enjoys mothering activities, Michael likes going places, and Vi creates imaginary food and hands it out. They each do some of what the others do as well, which makes for a very interesting but harmonious mish-mash!

  7. Bethany @ No Twiddle Twaddle

    I love the photos of your kids. It is so neat how their imaginations work in different ways. : )

  8. I remember reading once that a child engaging in creative play is using their entire brain, while a child engaging in an outside-directed activity uses only small portions of the brain. I believe it–children’s imaginative worlds are so rich and full of ideas.

  9. Elizabeth Rodriguez

    I love this!! A child’s imagination is so important, they can be so creative. :)

  10. It’s been a long time since I’ve commented and it feels great to have some balance back in my life and visit your space here again.

    It is such a privilege to witness children use their imaginations. It always brings a smile to my face when I see, or hear, their imaginative thoughts.

  11. LOVE kids using their imagination! My kids have had so much imagination play since we’ve been here in SA. I love it!

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