When it came to summer break, did your mom, or other parental figures basically tell you to stay out of the house and don't come back until dinner?

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My mom hated us hanging around.  So, guess what?   We used our imagination.  Remember all of the games you use to think up, probably way unsafe by today's standards?

What hasn't changed is that developing a sense of imagination is vital to brain development.  But, maybe we are helicoptering it out of our children.

You may have seen the lovely TedTalk where educator Sir Ken Robinson said,

That humans are born with creativity and “we get educated out of it.”

KQED News reports on a study of prospective teachers, where 68% said

They believed students needed to focus on memorizing the right answer rather than thinking imaginatively.

So, how do we do this?  Well, some of it is just fun: encourage unstructured play outside (oh, my!),  doodling, painting, yes and of course in July collecting fireflies.

Or how about here in Buffalo taking some kids improv?

The studies conclusions stated that

Imaginative play comes naturally to children, but it’s a habit of mind that needs to be taught and reinforced throughout life: Young human beings need exercises in imagination as they need exercise in all the basic skills of life, bodily and mental: for growth, for health, for competence, for joy,"

Actually, the full article has some great suggestions for teachers, but parents can also jump in.  That's right jumping rope....so miss that.  Always wanted to learn how to double dutch, maybe 2019 is the year.  ;-)