Her foster caretakers had a screaming match every day. The
5 year old normally became so upset and grumpy until she sang a song to herself. One day she used her imagination to see if the new song she learned in my class would actually work to calm her foster parents.
In the middle of a morning scream-fest, the girl stood near them in their chaos and sweetly started singing, “CALMING, CALMING, I'M CALMING MYSELF. BREATHING SLOWLY, I'M CALMING MYSELF.” To her absolute delight, the screaming adults stopped screaming in their tracks! The girl was so happy that her idea worked! She allowed her imagination to take her beyond where she had gone before in this situation. She solved a problem with the tools she had learned would give her SUPERKID POWER. Her confidence strengthened. She was so happy. Her imagination took her to a place of being able to help herself and her family system.
Life is full of possibilities when the imagination is tappe
d. Einstein KNEW this when he declared, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Expansion, growth, new ideas forged in fun ways, stepping outside the 'trained' box for life's inherited behavioral patterns, finding new solutions to problems and feeling confident being an imagination explorer all satisfy the human drive to learn more, to be more, to discover more. Imagination IS the key.
Imagination gives permission to see and be more than what presently exists. Giving children permission to use their own imaginations in home, care and schools benefits the systems in those locations. It opens to a new horizon of mental playfulness as well as problem solving. Experiencing what is imagined through play-dough, art, drama, singing and dancing to a new creative tune, acting out feelings, dress-ups that free a personality to BECOME another part of their own imaginations.....are all sample avenues of stimulation for mental/emotional/physical/spiritual advancement.
According to Bright Horizons: Resources for Families, “Imagination fosters cognitive and social development. Everyone wants to raise children who reach their highest intellectual and social/emotional potential. In early childhood education critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving abilities are goals for children's development. Imagination is where creativity, ingenuity, and thinking outside the box begin for child development. Imaginative and creative play is how children learn about the world.”
Imagination is critical in child development and the person inside waiting to mature. When I was a child I loved playing dress-ups and becoming different characters. I would clumsily sketch fancy outfits I imagined to wear as I donned myself with rags, towels, an old skirt of my mom's. But in my mind I was wearing those fancy costumes I drew. I thought the best job in the world was to be Santa Claus, but being born a girl knew that was impossible. So I created the Xmas Fairy and I pretended I was her. Today, at 70, I AM the Xmas Fairy in parades and taking packages to the homeless. My imagination allowed me to practice being who I really am in my spirit. I didn't have to wait until adulthood because my imagination allowed me to be a part of myself that didn't fit with my age and normal role in childhood.
I specifically wrote Jackson's Fun Adventures (www.grandmaboom.com and Amazon) to encourage children to pretend being different roles, to explore and play those roles to see what they feel like.
A kindergarten girl in my class recently drew her parents fighting. She said she had another panic attack when they were fighting and they stopped when she had trouble breathing. By drawing and sharing she realized she found a way to stop their fighting with her panic attacks. Now she can learn other ways to manage herself with SUPERKID POWER instead of suffering so much herself. She has to IMAGINE being able to do that for it to work.
Imagination takes us more deeply into who we are to become more of who we are, to solve problems, invent and expand. Imagination is a freeing of the set patterns we inherit that may limit our human potential. When imagination is a part of a child's life and educational curriculum, MORE is possible and life's education becomes much more fun and exciting! SUPERKID POWER is a result of marrying skills with the imagination to fuel us to go farther than than we have gone and to discover more of who we are meant to be.
www.superkidpower.org Free video and downloads for parents and teachers.
Jackson's Fun Adventures, Janai Mestrovich, Amazon and www.grandmaboom.com