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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Children's Imagination

Because I work with children who are very delayed it has been interesting and fascinating and fun watching Autumn just naturally learn what children do. My students struggle and struggle and maybe after a year or so get one or two new skills. It is a great grounding in typical child development. It is one thing to intellectually know the stages and steps of development but to watch them happen almost effortlessly is truly a miracle. How God created this little being with the ability to learn all it needs to is just.........well it's certainly beyond me! You see it with animals as well, babies who stand within minutes of birth, babies who climb up a mothers back and hang on for dear life seconds after birth......

Yesterday evening Autumn was playing with an old scratched and discarded CD. She was sitting on the couch making car noises and holding the disc out in front of her as if it were a steering wheel. Then we lined up some chairs and made a bus so she could drive all her babies and animals to school. She honked the horn by hitting the center of the disc. The disc was also a phone, a hat, a shoe (though that didn't stay on very well), her nose fit through the hole in the middle and then she used it as a camera because she discovered she could see through that same hole.

This little snapshot of Autumn's play is a good reminder that our kids don't really need expensive toys that light up and sing a thousand songs or teach languages. They are perfectly content with a pot and a couple of lids and spoons, some blocks and a ball, an old CD, a few ribbons and clothespins. That doesn't mean we should stop buying all the new fancy toys but maybe limit the number of them that we have. We need to nurture kids creativity and we can't do that if the toys do all the work and all a child has to do is push a button.

Now just to argue the flip side of that coin.........many of the kids I work with don't have those imagination abilities, nor do they have the motor abilities to build with blocks or throw a ball. So in these cases the fancy toys are great because a child can do a lot with very minimal movements and effort, they too can play and be successful just like their peers. This is so important to them and to their parents. Technology is a wonderful thing as long as we limit it and use it appropriately and not rely on it to be babysitters and to replace the brains and imaginations of our children. Ok that's my soapbox speech for the month.

A few eggs and a basket and wha-la you have 45 minutes of amusement.

A race track on your floor with some painter's tape.

1 comment:

  1. She is getting so big! No longer looking like a toddler. Sigh. . . the time goes by way too fast!