Imagination ~ the foundation of education

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

****Please don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY ****

We are getting to 'birthday season' here at Sunnyside.  I always refer to this time of year as such because 3 of our children have birthdays in just over a month (I know two are twins, but it's still 3 times the gift purchasing & cake baking) .  I always find myself in an awkward position each time birthday season approaches.  I struggle with knowing what to purchase for gifts.  Thankfully over the years we have found some things that work really well & I often go to the list to get them some kind of toy ( we always buy a book or two as well & often include something to wear in their presents). Regarding toys, we have made a conscious effort to make sure that whatever we choose  involves the use of their imagination in the playing because we believe the imagination is the foundation of education.

IMAGINATION:  The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.

In choosing toys we specifically select those which will cultivate this in our children.  I love choosing toys that have many different ways of being played with ( let's face it , children will play with them in whatever way they want anyway ).

Without imagination a person would not be able to perceive how something they learn is useful to their life. If you can't grasp it's use, it is so much harder to learn the fact.  Without imagination they would struggle to understand how something they cannot see is true. It allows us to extrapolate from our knowledge to understand new concepts and ideas. I know that some children do struggle with 'imaginary games', but that doesn't mean they don't have an imagination. Our imaginations are wonderful tools from the Lord!

Toys we love which cultivate the imagination:

The bane of every mother's life, but we love it as well. Lego has so very many uses & I've even brought it into the classroom to cement concepts. People of all ages enjoy sitting down with these very basic blocks & creating something. I love that Lego have just brought out a range for girls. I grew up with 4 sisters & we always had a big bucket of lego,but it wasn't as pretty as the Lego Friends is :) 
Image source: HERE
Our boys love this because they can create with it ( if you've guessed our boys love to create ALL* THE* TIME). Mecanno provides the substance to bring their ideas into reality. 
Image source: HERE
This one is fantastic as it's so cheap & easy to make & brings hours of fun. It also helps in developing fine motor skills whist enhancing their imagination. 
Image Source: HERE
These little creatures are loved by both genders in our household & are so cute that you just want to buy the whole lot ( thankfully finances provides the anchor to prevent that ). A few of these, an old dolls house & boxes that are quickly created into all manner of things has made for hours & hours of playtime here at Sunnyside. These are a very popular birthday request!!
Image Source: HERE
If you are anything like us there are too many of these laying around, but it's amazing what kinds of games the children will create using these. I love that sometimes they join together & play 'families' with dozens of 'children'!!
Image Source: HERE  Someone may be getting this for her birthday , but shhh... don't tell :)
Every household needs a box of blocks & they don't have to be fancy or uniform. My children have loved using our random sized & shaped blocks to create some unusual structures. A lot of them were the very same blocks my sisters & I played with as children!
Image Source: HERE
Obviously most games hold some educational aspect & they also fuel the imagination as you conceive plans of how to win! Although we don't have a lot of games yet, I've noticed the few we have are beginning to get more & more use as the children get older. 
Image Source: HERE

I have boys ~ need I say more??? These are very, very popular amongst them! I know some people don't wish to promote guns amongst their children, but I found that my boys from very young would make guns out of anything & these have been wonderful tools for fast, furious after dinner family-fun!!

Image Source: HERE

My mother once asked if they should purchase our children reams of paper for their birthdays.    Paper is used daily in all kinds of creations.  As for boxes ~ they are prized possessions & I have to keep a record of who gets the next box or else disagreements will eventuate.  With these tools the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

This is by no means a full list of toys ~ I'm sure in the next 10 minutes I'll think of some things I've omitted, but these are some of the most popular toys amongst the children here at Sunnyside for open ended fun!

What do you purchase for your children? 

Is there anything you've found that has worked well for your family??

I'd love for you to leave a comment letting me know ( I'm always after new ideas :)

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