“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” John Lennon
I am always encouraging my children to use their imagination! Imagination is something that gets pushed aside as we get older. A lot of our imagination can get lost through lack of use because TV or movies does all the imagining for us. Using our imagination takes work, especially the older we get! I am always hesitant to show my children a movie based on a book, because I want them to experience the gift of using their imagination to picture the classic tales that we read. I think of the great literary classics that sparked my imagination as a child. They were influential in my childhood and I can still recall the excitement I felt when I imagined what a great story was depicting through words!
Here are some great quotes about imagination:
“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells” Dr. Seuss
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do” Walt Disney
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain
“What is now proved was once only imagined.” William Blake
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” Albert Einstein
God has given us an imagination. We can use this gift to do great things for His kingdom! Our gifts and talents can be used to further the gospel and to bring hope to the hopeless. We can imagine ways to solve problems and imagine stories that will inspire others.
I love what Ephesians 3:20 says,
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
We can never fully imagine the infinite greatness of God! His power is beyond compare and His ways are higher than our ways. He can do more than our finite minds can ever imagine. Just think about heaven… what an amazing, incredible moment that will be when we enter Heaven and see what the Lord has prepared for those who believe! It is beyond our imagination!
So how can we encourage our children (and ourselves!) to use our imagination?
- Reading stories that will inspire and spark imagination! I wrote about developing a love for reading here and here. Also, encourage your children to tell YOU stories. Write these down if they can’t, and then allow them to illustrate their stories. What a fun memory that will chronicle their ideas and imagination!
- Creating Art. This can be a structured or unstructured activity. Have an art bin and place it at the table. Allow your child to create what they imagine!
- Being in nature. I write a lot about nature and have seen incredible benefits in my own family when we spend a lot of time outside exploring the beautiful outdoors.
- Allow time and space to create and imagine. Usually this means taking a big break from TV, games, and movies. The more space that is made for them to create and imagine, the more creative and imaginative they will become! You can read more about the benefit of boredom here.
- Listen to music! I was a Music Together teacher for a period of time, and I loved what I learned about the benefit of introducing very young children to a variety of music. Music can create a space for creativity and inspiration. Classical music can help the brain and can improve a child’s math skills!
Childhood goes by so quickly and it is so important to let children imagine and create. Allow for the time, space, and opportunity to imagine!