“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
With electronics and busy schedules, sometimes it feels like there is no time for a child to use their imagination. Children have the beautiful gift of imagination and it’s our job as parents to provide opportunities to stimulate it. Below are two books that I have recently read that can help stimulate a child’s imagination.
In a Dark Dark Cave by Eric Hoffman is the story of two young children and their dog going on a wondrous journey with their imagination during playtime in their play tent. They imagine their tent to be a dark, dark cave where they encounter bats in flight, crawling lizards, and shining eyes. Their journey is interrupted their father who opens the tent and tells them to quiet down. The children embark on another journey that takes them in the bright sun to a barn riding horses through a farm. At the end of the story, the reader sees the father asking the children to quiet down again with the scene of the children still playing in their room. I enjoyed this book because it helped the reader understand the power on imagination. In a Dark Dark Cave also used interesting vocabulary and captivating illustrations that immediately captures a child attention. It is also a story that children can relate to and be a part of.
When reading this book aloud, define unfamiliar words such as flight, occupy, beasts, stomp, prowl, mane and yarn. Ask your children about the difference between what was real and what was in the children’s imagination. How can they tell? Act out actions such as stomp, prowl and crawl. Ask your child to tell you what they think “prowling” is. When children explain the definition independently, they have a better chance of keeping that word in their lexicon.
The Power of Henry’s Imagination by Skye Byrne and Nic George is a beautiful story about a child named Henry and his toy, Raspberry. Henry loves his toy rabbit, Raspberry and brought him everywhere. One morning, Henry wanted to bring Raspberry on a trip to the veggie patch when he couldn’t find him! He looked everywhere and his parents searched the whole house with no luck. Henry was very worried and longed to have his toy rabbit back. Henry’s wise Grandpa told Henry, “There is only one thing left to do..You must imagine that you have Raspberry back”. Henry took his Grandpa’s advice and began imagining that him and Raspberry were explorers climbing a mountain. He then imagined that they were pirates on a ship full of rare treasures, steering cargo through the sea. Henry was using his imagination so well, he felt that Raspberry was actually there with him. With Raspberry in his thoughts, he fell asleep soundly. That night, Grandpa heard a knock on the door and it was the mailman, who found Raspberry. The Power of Henry’s Imagination is a beautiful story of the gift of imagination. Although it was sad to have temporarily lost Raspberry, his imagination brought him on his own magical adventures. This book is also excellent for reading to a child who may have recently lost a special toy.
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