Monday, September 19, 2016

Kids Need Fantasy and Creativity in their lives.

I am a firm believer that imagination is a very important part of child development.  Fantasy, pretend play and creativity are linked to adult abilities.  In this day and age, our children don't get as much of this.  As a parent and now a grandparent, I have always built this into the way I interact with children.

I came across this article, I am quoting a part of it and linking the full article for your use and reading pleasure.  It really supports my personal perspective and goes on to explain ways to expand your child's imagination.

Why imagination matters so much, and how it can influence your children’s development

"According to Sir Ken Robinson who is an expert in learning and children’s education, ‘imagination is the source of all human achievement‘, thus one of the key components of creativity and innovation.
Creativity and problem solving are among the basic skills that everyone is required to have, whether they have to deal with an everyday problem at home or a work related challenge. But to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas, we need to use our imagination and see things beyond reality.

Imagination is essential in the learning process and can advance cognitive development. Young children often learn about historical events, different cultures or people that they will never meet, and imaginative play is a way for them to discover the world that surrounds them and collect experiences.
Through imaginary games and storytelling children are more likely to adapt learning habits, develop their communication skills and improve their vocabulary. By using their senses and bodies, they can move around and develop their muscles as well as the neurological connections in their brains."
quote is from

Rest of the article on Importance of Imagination

This totally supports one of the reasons I have three children's books out on the market.  I love dragons. Most dragons are either kind of a barney type or are way to scary for young children.  I wanted to create a line of fantasy reading for young children where the dragons were not frightening. That, and as one of the creators, I believe in writing dragons as more than feral beasts.  I believe in the benefits of escaping to a world where you can pretend magic, fairies, and dragons exist.

My first dragon book was a story my mother created a long while ago.  It was a beautiful little tale, but she struggled to make the changes that would appeal to a larger world market.  With her permission, I recreated the story.  I met Rebecca Hunt about three years ago and she was able to give me a sample of dragons that was exactly what I was looking for to represent my children's books. Thus, How The Dragons Got Their Colors was born.

The next children's story I created was based on my grandson. His mother was pregnant with her second child.  My grandson came to me and told me that if it was a girl baby, he didn't want it.  I asked him, what do you want to do if it is a girl.  He said, "You can have it Grandma. Mommy can make a new baby."  

I knew right then that I had to write a book for him.  Not an Egg! is the story of a little dragon's experience when her mother lays an egg.  She goes through the emotions and anxiety that many children experience when a new baby is brought into the house.  The final line emphasizing that the feeling of love is not finite.  

The last of my current line of children's books is based on an experiences with my own daughter at bedtime.  No matter how hard I tried to prepare her for bedtime, when we would get to story time, she would interrupt the beginning with a cry of wait.  Whether it was "I need a drink of water." or "I  need my stuffed animals." it was always a battle to get her settled.  

Once Upon A... Wait! is a rhyming story where the little dragon does not want to settle down for his story. His behaviors end up with him being fast asleep long before his mother can finish the actual story.  I wish I had established the patience of the mother dragon.  A small glimpse into something I wished I had been able to change as a parent.

I have these books in electronic copy, but my personal belief is that an e-book doesn't allow a child to invest in the images like a real in hand book.  There is a place and a time for e-books.  But a child's picture book, in my opinion, just isn't one.  

Teach your children to write their own stories even if it is in pictures, make a dress up box, read to them, and if you need more ideas, read the article at the start of this blog post.  Have a imaginative day!