Have you watched a child play pretend? Dirt becomes a road, sticks the cars and water just makes it more fun. To have creativity, you need imagination. Imagination and creativity are intertwined. As Thomas Edison said, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” As both the PE and music teacher at Hillside, my goal this year is to nurture imagination in all my students. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” –Albert Einstein
Number 1: practice using my own imagination. I really wanted to use the case of tennis balls I bought at Costco. But with space limitations how could I use tennis balls to their full fun potential? By using my imagination of course. We had tennis ball challenge day. Tennis ball tubes became flingers and we played a tennis ball distance challenge. Who could throw and catch the farthest just using one hand and the tube? We had tennis ball relays with buckets and tubes. We had lots of active fun creating new ways to play with tennis balls.
Number 2: allow active use of imagination in class. So if you happened to see some preschoolers during PE, you may have seen us transforming from super-heroes, to pirates, to ninjas. You were witnessing us using our magic bandanas (Not everyone has these, you know. But you might have this hidden treasure lying in your dresser drawer at home.)
Number 3: ask imagination-sparking questions. In music as we explore music around the world, we looked at pictures of some instruments we knew nothing about. But by using our imaginations, the middle school class could figure out what the instruments were made from and how they were played. From there they induced, which Hornbostel-Sachs classification category each instrument was in.
So watch out parents and friends, if your student breaks out in spontaneous imaginative play. It could be your lucky day. Dust off the cobwebs of imagination and join them to enter a new world of fun and exploration.