Imagination and Childhood

I’ve come to a strange place in my time as a mother. With our preschool-aged foster son moving to a new home, I am now working from home with all my children at school. I’m getting things accomplished work-wise, but feeling a strange melancholy of watching my children get older.

Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. 

Tom Stoppard

The Coast of Utopia

I have strong opinions about how to nurture and help our children to be creative, active children. Here are some of my tips:

  1. Limit or eliminate screen time.
  2. Play outside as much as possible.
  3. Read Aloud with your children.
  4. Have books of all kinds for kids to look at on their own.
  5. Eat healthy and balanced food.
  6. Play with open-ended creative toys (Magnatiles, Legos, Play-doh, paints, crayons, craft supplies)
  7. Enjoy activities as a family, where everyone participates (board games, hikes in the woods, etc.)

There are so many distractions in my life, my kids’ lives, my husband’s life. I try my hardest to put up barriers between these and my children’s childhood. Of course, my kids watch TV and play video games, I just use that as the first privilege they lose if there are any behavior issues. I also limit screen time. They don’t like it, but I know it’s the very best thing for their health and brains.

Watch your kids. Watch the kids around them. I bet you’ll see some who can use their imaginations and entertain themselves and some who can’t. If we have to rely on outside forces, how will we ever learn to think for ourselves and make wise choices?  

Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams – day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.

L. Frank Baum

The Lost Princess of Oz

Updates:

What I’ve been up to this month:

I also was rebranding my website and social media. Do you like my new logo? 

I have a free printable of the Five Little Monkeys as fingerpuppets: you can download that here.

I also have been finishing a few more pages of my Bulldozers in the Sky picture book.

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Books This Month:

Picture Book:

How Does Santa Go Down The Chimney?

by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

My Take: These guys are some of the best storytellers around these days, and this book works. It is an exploration of how Santa coming into everyone’s houses could perhaps work. It’s funny, it’s weird, but in the end, it’s also a little bit magical. 

When Santa arrives at a child’s house on Christmas Eve, does he go down the chimney feetfirst or headfirst? What if he gets stuck? What if there’s no chimney? Maybe he slides under the door, as thin as a piece of paper? Or is it possible he pours himself through the faucet? What happens once he’s inside? Whether it’s shape-shifting or impromptu laundry use, Mac Barnett’s iconic talent for earnest deadpan humor and Jon Klassen’s irresistibly funny art honor the timeless question with answers both ridiculous and plausible, mounting in hilarity as the night continues.

Middle Grade:

The Two Towers
by J.R.R. Tolkien

My Take: Our family read aloud right now, and it’s a hit with my ten-year-old daughter. The Lord of the Rings is among my top favorite books of all time, so I’m thrilled that my kids are getting into it and loving it too. 

The second part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship is scattered. Some brace hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Others must contend with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the One Ring, ruler of the accursed Rings of Power, to be destroyed in Mordor, the dark realm where Sauron is supreme. Their guide is Gollum, a deceitful and obsessive slave to the corruption of the Ring.

Adult:

The Keeper of Lost Things

by Ruth Hogan

My Take: My book club read for the month, and it was enjoyable. There were several storylines of different time periods going on at the same time, so it took a little effort to follow. Overall, it is uplifting and has both humor and heartache included in the journey.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects–the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind–and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Until next time,

Charlotte J. Glaze