We have all discussed, danced through, fumbled, and found success through physical education at home. One thing I think is missing from our world is the exploration of imagination. Imaginary play is something that was so beneficial to me as a child and I think it teaches kids how to be innovative before we even get into the mindset of creating games, TGFU, etc. In order for a child to be able to explore ideas on creating games, workouts, and even in the adult world of creating new and innovative ways to reach students, other adults, or colleagues, they are going to need to tap into their imaginary bank. How can we do this? How can we create in an imaginary world while still focusing on standards, ethics, and inclusion?
Remember when you were a child and you looked up to sporting heroes and role models? You wanted to be like them, you wanted to emulate them. You admired not only their love for the game and skills but also their character. I was obsessed with Michael Jordan as a child and I used to pretend that I was MJ when I was shooting hoops by myself. Let me set the scene for you:
Bulls are down by 1 with 5 seconds left on the clock for the NBA championship. Scottie inbounds the ball to Mike, Mike posts up Vlade Divac...5...4...3...2, MJ with the classic turn around fadeaway....2.....1...SWISH! The Bulls win the title after that amazing fadeaway.
I am actually saying these comments aloud whilst pretending I am MJ. This lets me be in my own world and experience the excitement, positive anxiety of having the pressure of making the shot. If I miss the shot, I can just replay the same scenario over and over again.
Sense of Identity
Believe it or not, when young children explore the world of imagination, they really begin to sense who they really are and want to be in real life. Imagination allows one to experience many different settings and environments that they may not experience until their adult life. This allows them to have a grasp at an early age on what is important to them and opens the doors to different values they may adopt in the future.
Role-Playing and its Impact on Social and Emotional Aspects
Role-playing allows a child to experience different scenarios and different types of conversations, whether this is self-talk or they are playing with others. They are able to be in rare scenarios where they begin to read facial expressions and body language. On top of that, make-believe stories can involve an array of emotional focuses such as frustration, heroics, saving someone in need, celebration.
Imagination is something we must celebrate and help children love and experience as it is the most beautiful world as it's your world.