Imagination is such a powerful thing isn’t it. I have been noticing that my students are developing their imaginations more and more recently. It is exciting to see. They are so involved in the worlds that they create that sometimes the line between the real world and the imagined world is a very fine one! It is fascinating to see how they navigate this. Often they do not seem to want to switch out of their imagined world. This can cause conflict.
This photo is of my daughter driving her car. She was playing independently, driving around the area where her friends were playing. As she drove around she was saying to herself “drive, drive”. She kept this up for such a long time! When it was time to go inside she demonstrated that she needed to drive her (imaginary) friend to her house and therefore was not ready to come inside yet. We compromised and agreed that she would drop her friend off at a bust stop and then park the car before coming inside. My daughter was happy with this and was then content to come in when ready.
Sometimes it can cause conflict between children. For example this morning one child (A) was pretending they were another child’s (M) mother. Suddenly the M no longer wanted to play but the A continued in the mother role. M became upset because A was not in fact her mother and A was not recognizing that this was no longer a game for M. It took some tactful suggestions to assist the children in working out a solution.
Hmm, I seem to have been focusing on the conflicts that can arise through imaginative play. How sad! I must apologize. In fact I love to watch imaginations at work. I find it truly magical, exciting and energizing. That children can have access to these wonderful worlds which they collaborate to create. It gives me hope that through working with children I can try to ensure this skill is not completely lost in my adulthood! I see that in the children the imagination is a powerful tool that enables them to develop a wider understanding of the world around them. how lucky I am to have a front row seat in observing this!
The children were truly amazing. From when the first ones arrived they started an elaborate game based upon a camping trip. As others arrived they simply joined in. They reluctantly pulled themselves away for morning circle, and then rushed back to their play straight after. They were so engrossed that we had snack later than usual – I was waiting for a lull in the play, but it never came. Then, after snack they insisted on continuing their camping trip rather than playing outside. I have never seen them so involved before so I agreed. Even at the end of the morning there were protests when it was time to get ready for storytime and lunch.
Maybe others see this in their class but it is new for these children. It was so wonderful to see. They communicated well with each other and there was no conflict. Really, no conflict!
So what were they doing?
At one point I took a photo of the floor in the middle of the room. it looked like such a mess but I had seen it develop and understood that everything that was there had a purpose.
They were planning a camping trip and defining their roles in a family group. They the packed up the car with everything they needed. Apparently they had some crying babies who needed a lot of care along the way! They then acted through the entire overnight camping trip. Well, apparently I announced storytime before they were able to have breakfast! They said they would continue building their bonfire and cooking their breakfast tomorrow.
Days like this are so inspiring for me.
In morning circle today I mentioned that I had brought in a ‘cloud machine’ today. I then turned on the projector for the children to explore should they wish. They were so excited about making clouds! I had set out a tray of translucent fabric (from the fabric store closure of course!) and a large white sheet hung on the playstand in front of the projector.
Throughout the morning the children explored with the projector, and included it in their play. Suddenly they were the cloud children and playing in the clouds. Some children also decided to line up some toys on a ‘cloud shelf”.