Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Imagination Fascination

When I observe how children play at school, in the classrooms I've worked in, it always amazes me how they can think of new things that have never been thought of before. How even through repetitive play, and building with blocks, and playing dress up, each child knows how to put their own unique spin on their play and learning.

Play is such a big part of learning for young children. It’s where they try new things, and explore new ideas and create something they didn’t know they could. Every child has their own favorite place in the classrooms too, and every class is different. Some years, the block area is the all-time favorite, some years, it’s the dramatic play area or the art area. In every case, you can see the seeds of inspiration and imagination dawning in these young people, who have only been around for 3 to 5 years.

As much as academic learning, with letters and numbers and writing is important, my heart is in learning through play. Play is full of problem solving, although you may not think so, it’s supposed to be fun right? Consider all that the children learn through play, including sharing, conflict resolution, communication, teamwork, not to mention flexing their creative muscles….and the list goes on.

When I wrote the book, When I Build with Blocks, I did so because I felt it was a book that many children could relate to. I wrote it because I couldn’t find one exactly like it anywhere else, and I wrote it because the kids just love to build with blocks in the classroom. They inspired me with their ideas, which I incorporated into the book, and they inspired me with their enthusiasm, which they showed me after I read it to them – they went straight to the block area to show me what else they could build. I feel honored that I was able to spark their minds to continue to create, and that they enjoy the book that they can see themselves in.

Imagination is a wonderful thing!