Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow forts and imagination

The wintry mix outside reminds me of my childhood and how we’d build snow forts and have snowball battles. I took great pride in building the perfect fort, rolling each boulder until it was just the right size, placing them next to and on top of one another until the fort was tall enough and wide enough to hide and protect me. I’d carve out little cubbies in the walls where I’d store my snowballs. We’d spend hours outside playing and, when we were done and went inside to get warm, Mom always had hot chocolate and dry clothes waiting.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think kids build snow forts and play outside like they used to. In fact, I don’t see as much creative play period, and that bothers me. Do kids pretend and create? Do their imaginations run wild? Does a stack of pillows become a mountain and an empty coffee container a drum?

We’re living in a world of noise where kids expect bells and whistles and flashing lights. Where has the quiet hour of the day gone, the hour of pretend when dragons breathe fire and pirates rule the sea and dolls and bears share cookies and tea?

As a writer, the ability to think creatively is an obvious must. It’s how we create fantasy worlds and unforgettable characters. I hope that as parents and teachers and family members and friends that we encourage imagination and creative play in our children. What a sad, sad world this would be if there were no creative people inventing things that bring beauty and fun to our lives.
What do you think?

Albert Einstein

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.



  1. I do think it's harder for kids to have down time with parents working and after care at school and all their activities. My daughter has had both but we have tried to keep the weekends free so she has some time to choose what she wants to do. Down time is important.

  2. I think Natalie up there ^ said it perfectly. Times have changed and kids rely on sitting in front of a TV at daycare and playing on their DS at home. As a working mom, I've tried to take my daughter to places that will spark her imagination where she can have hands on fun.

    Also, I grew up in Texas and have only seen snow once in my life! But, I do recall growing up building forts out of hay, lol, same basic thing, right?

  3. I agree. I think with the invasion of "organized sports" we lost the sandlots and the fields where the kids can go and play. But I love it when my kids get creative and a box becomes a car, and their dog becomes the damsel in distress. LOL Great post.

    I also wanted to let you know I nominated you for a sylish blogger award. You can pick it up here http://chandarawrites.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

    Thanks for the great info and inspiration!

  4. Thanks Elizabeth. You're so sweet:) Not sure how much "style" I have.

    Cheyanne, hay is like snow, only itchier.(smiles).

    Nat, I agree. Downtown is very important. For adults, too. Sometimes the best ideas come to me in the quiet of the day when I'm all alone. Funny how that happens.