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Have Our Children Lost Their Imagination?

By Kat Walsh

Children imaginationIn an age where technology is so heavily integrated into our lives, have our children forgotten how to use their imagination?

Let me take you back - it’s 1997, it’s the end of another busy week at school, and my resident Beanie Babies are preparing for their usual Friday night disco. The posters are up and everyone is excited to let loose and unwind! 

My brother’s Action Man is working security tonight, because last week’s disco ended in a bit of a tussle between the cat Beanies and dog Beanies, and you never know when someone is going to start some beef… Six-year-old me is having the time of her life

Looking back, this was what childhood was all about for me - role play, imagination, creation. 

But times are changing. For better or for worse, I can’t imagine my son engaging in much of this type of play. For his generation, it’s all tablets and smartphones - children have access to this technology before they’re even able to walk. Entertainment is ported straight into their brain, and they can simply disengage and let it happen. 

And while the advances in technology have made our lives infinitely easier, I do wonder whether it’s really a good thing. Should our children be able to play, explore their own imagination and entertain themselves like we did? Or am I simply struggling to come to terms with a changing world? 

Perhaps, instead of worrying, we should just encourage our children to flex their imaginations every now and again, instead of fighting the inevitable. Honestly, I don’t know what’s best. 

My son and I do enjoy doing things together that require some brain power – and they are special times I treasure. I’m pretty sure they’re good for him too! Here are some of my favorites:

Arts and crafts - a fantastic and varied way to promote creativity and imagination in ways that your kids will love. It doesn’t have to get messy (if you’re anything like me, you like to avoid that where possible) - there’s always paper and crayons!

Outside play - another great idea for showing kids that there is so much fun to be had away from a screen! There are plenty of ways for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors - nature walks, bug hunts, star gazing - it really is a great big world out there. 

Books – are SO good for promoting imagination and independence in children. Story books are the windows to other worlds and can take children on endless adventures, and there are plenty of practical but fun books out there to inspire you with different games to play and activities to explore.

Join The Debate!

What do you think? Do kids have less imagination these days? Should we encourage more ‘traditional’ play, or should we embrace technology and the benefits it brings? 

Tell us what you think in our poll at www.toddle.fun/vote

We’ll share the results with you in our next issue! 


About the Author

Kat Walsh is the author of the book, ‘The Box’, which is heavily themed around imaginative play. If you’d like to discover what adventures can be had with a box and some good old-fashioned imagination, buy from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.

The Box by Kat Walsh