How to improve your child’s imagination by taking away the smart box and giving them an art box.

So on a lighter note…when I was 6, I was rushed to the ER for a very peculiar predicament.  I know you’re thinking life or death emergency, but calm your nerves and put on a smile, we are about to go for a wild ride!

Preface: Of all the gifts I have ever received in my childhood, my favorite gift was a 5 gallon ice cream bucket decorated with glued felt on the outside.   I remember having to really pry the top open carefully using my fingertips to inch my way around, lifting as I went.  Finally,  I peeled the plastic teeth apart to reveal the most magical sight.  The old 5 gallon jug of ice cream was repurposed as an art studio on the go. It was filled with every art supply a kid could imagine; pad of paper, watercolors, crayons, markers, glue, scissors… GASP!

Over time that 5 gallon jug that went everywhere with me. I was never without it.  However, now its a bucket filled with the equivalent of crayon quicksand made of paperless wax nubbins.

And the smell…was HEAVEN!

So, fast forward to me spending some time at my grandmother’s house approximately 6 years old.  I am sprawled out on the green shag carpet (circa 1979) with a sketch pad and a brand new box of crayons to add to my hoard. The 64 pack with the built-in sharpener…AHHHH…in my world, that was the equivalent of the golden ticket to the Wonka Factory.

 

695273060
Image courtesy of deseretnews.com

All the tools I needed to make the pages come alive and keep me occupied in wonderment for hours.  Now, at this precise moment my 6 year old brain felt a booger. I can see you smiling…what would you do?  Time to strategize.  I realized I had to make a choice.  I looked at the box of all the beautiful new crayons and had pick the “one.”  You know, the sacrificial pawn?  It was SKY BLUE

Sky blue was the one crayon in the box that never had a chance with its waxy like texture. It never looked smooth and would glob up the more you used pressure. Yuck! I carefully extracted the tool from the box and…

I WENT IN….ALL IN!!!

Using the perfect point to reach this nose goblin, carefully of course… and the tip breaks!  WOW. If I didn’t dis-like this color before, I really dis-liked it now. The search and rescue mission failed.  I pushed the fragment farther up my nose.  I walked calmly to my grandmother to show her my stupidity and her efforts to retrieve it were also futile. It was really lodged in there…off the ER we go.

kids-eat-boogers-1
SHYLENDRAHOODE/THINKSTOCK

I sat on the table while doctors forced mini-forceps up my nose, trying to hold back their laughter while they were digging for gold… well actually sky blue.

Now, as I look back at this experience, I am not traumatized or embarrassed.  I am grateful to have grown-up in a generation where imagination ruled.

Problem-solving skills on point! (PUN INTENDED)

 

Mindful parent lesson: Take the tablet or phone out of your child’s hands and yours. Teach them to interact with people. Talk with your child and let them ask a trillion “why” questions.  Teach them to use art, music, or reading as an outlet.  Let your kids know it’s ok to be silly.  It’s ok if their imaginary friend wants to come for dinner. And if they want to color their grass purple, encourage them to make it the most beautiful purple anyone could imagine.

Praise them for their open minds and unlimited potential. 

 

“The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere.”

– Terence McKenna

 

How are you going to show them the way? 

Author: Been there, done that...

I don’t claim any professional title (yet), but I do claim every experience that has shaped me to write this 30 second elevator pitch. Every little coincidence, huge mistake, or subtle growth in thought is mine. Growth in thought doesn’t come without tenacity and because I have an insatiable hunger for knowledge, I am currently a graduate student specializing in Leadership Coaching. Naturally, as an empath, coaching comes with ease since I actively listen with every one of my senses. I can be occasionally funny, and unapologetically passionate about making you smile. I like to create art with words, makeup, photographs, or painting and the choice of medium depends on my mood. I hope you enjoy my words here, follow me, and tell a friend.

2 thoughts on “How to improve your child’s imagination by taking away the smart box and giving them an art box.”

  1. I loved this post. Kids nowadays have their heads buried in their smartphones, computers, video games or tv that they don’t realize what we had to do to entertain ourselves when we didn’t have those luxuries growing up. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for the feedback. I had fun writing it. I knew I had to do something when my 5 year old niece wanted Barbie furniture and I showed her a book for a bed, washcloth for blanket, and makeup sponges for pillows. Her mind was BLOWN!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s