I was a very imaginative kid. I didn’t watch a lot of t.v. and thankfully, my childhood was lived before the emergence of the internet. I loved to read, I devoured books, I lived in my mind a lot I think (I still do sometimes, to this day). I used to look forward to the Scholastic Book Fair that came to my school (I saved up money and perused the books all afternoon, looking for stories). I played outside with friends, riding bikes, creating adventures and mysteries. We would go exploring for treaure, be on the run from bad guys, make boats out of mattresses, backyards would become countries. We would make secret clubs with secret hiding spots (beside the rock and within the trees) in the tiny green space of our suburban street. Our club would have secret codes and secret ‘enemies’. We would start music groups and write and play music with keyboards and sticks, we would make our own radio stations with sound effects and segments and pseudonyms and guest hosts. We would write ‘book’ series with illustrations and write newsletters with gossip and celebrity crushes.
This all gets lost. We grow up and get formally educated and are expected to get ‘real’ jobs that we spend most of our time doing and consumed by. They don’t generally promote and nourish creativity and critical thinking. We become serious and stressed. We forget how to appreciate small wonders. For so long, I viewed myself as no longer being creative, as having lost that sense of imagination. I think I was wrong though. It’s still there, albeit stifled (maybe slightly suffocated?). You’ve gotta let go of expectation and relax a little (when I say ‘you’, I really mean ‘I’). CONTINUE TO PLAY!
Here’s one fun idea (from childhood). It’s easy and cheap!
BUILD A FORT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.
I found a lovely post on blanket forts accompanied by some cozy photos (pictured below) here
A few weekends ago, we spontaneously constructed a fort in our living room with a couple bed sheets draped over some floor lamps, the t.v. and a coffee table. We threw lots of pillows and soft blankets inside, strung some tiny white x-mas tree lights up inside, and collected some snacks and wine. We rented a couple movies and spent a few hours snuggled inside watching them in our sweet little haven. It looked kinda messy and dumpy from the outside, but it was so neat and dreamy on the inside!