The Imagination That Can: Five Things I Learned From Kids This Summer

By: Alexandria Riedinger

Aug 09 2011

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Category: Life & Happenings

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Aperture:f/9
Focal Length:47mm
ISO:800
Shutter:1/80 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 7D

“But if it is the dreamy idleness that children have, an idleness when you walk alone for a long, long time…or lie in bed at night and thoughts come and go, or dig in a garden…at such times you are being slowly filled and recharged with warm imagination, with wonderful, living thoughts.”
-Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write

During the past few weeks I’ve volunteered to work at a summer camp for the Montessori school across the street and it has led me to a new level of imagination and creativity. As I wrote last week, being with those kids seemed to stir up a creativity I didn’t know I had. And had always thought I lacked.

In my very short adult life, I haven’t spent too much time around kids because there were never any close by in my family. So when I am around them, I tend to get very curious about how they think, act with others, and interact with me. I am fascinated by their limitless ability to create anything and everything. We’re building a two-story train to fly to Mars! Cool, let’s do it, I say. We’re going to capture a super-giant reptile that eats whales! Sweet, count me in, I answer back.

But seriously, I’ve never been challenged to keep up with their out-of-this-world imagination until this summer camp came along. We were pirates, bus drivers, painters, puppets, cats, soccer players, chefs, and so much more I can’t even remember. All I know is that I have never felt more alive, present, or imaginative than in those moments of pure creation.

So. I wanted to pass along five things I learned, and I think we can all learn from kids.

1. To live only in the present. Doesn’t matter if you currently live on the moon or in the deepest ocean!

2. The only rule to the game of life is to have fun and learn. If you’re not having fun or learning, do something else.

3. My imagination is bigger than yours. And that’s the only thing that matters that we should be comparing.

4. Poke, touch, feel and try everything. And then you’ll learn whether or not you’re going to do that again!

5. “Behaving” is totally subjective. So do what you think is right for yourself.

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