I seek the wonder of a child, a child who sees delightfully, now clowns in cloud, now gold in sun—imaginations true and free. — "I Seek the Spirit of a Child," Hymn 338 in Singing the Living Tradition
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was "imagination." Unitarian artist Arthur Lismer once said, "Education for life includes the idea of art, in the fullest sense, for life's sense. . . . Art is a way of life, a release for spiritual forces which are strong in children and as essential to growth as body-building exercises and mental stimulus" (September Gale: A Life of Arthur Lismer by John McLeish, 1955). Through art, children organize the world around them and express their understanding of what they observe and experience long before they can articulate this understanding verbally. The power of the imagination expressed in the creative process is a vehicle for the release of feelings and wondering. As Unitarian Universalists, we value creativity and creative problem solving. This session was a time to reinforce the creative expression of each child's uniqueness and inner world.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER . . . Read some of the suggested books for this session:
- Journey by Aaron Becker, 2013. In this wordless picture book, a lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound.
- Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, 2006. A box is just a box . . . unless it's not a box. A small rabbit discovers that when your imagination takes over, a cardboard box can be a mountain, a rocket ship, a robot—anything!
- Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg, 2010. It's OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity—a portal of discovery!
- Press Here by Herve Tullet, 2011. Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark on a magical journey!
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . . making your own homemade play dough and sculpt with it. Watch this recipe video on YouTube.
A Family Adventure. Tell a story to each other in the car when travelling; each person adds a bit of the story, using their imagination.
A Family Game. Sing a Zipper Song, such as "Aikendrum," where a moon dweller is clothed by foods called out by the children. Or play the game Freeze and Melt: Players pretend to do or be something, moving slowly at first. Gradually, they increase their pace and make their movements more dramatic, until the leader calls "Freeze!" This is the signal for players to stop moving. They stay still and hold the frozen position until the leader calls "Melt!" Players then do a new action. Try pretending to be the wind, a lion, a flower, the rain, very tall, a fish, a mountain, the moon, or a rainbow, and be creative in your movements or actions.