Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Imagination

Christine, who writes The Aums, has been doing a series where she goes around the house after the kids have gone to bed and takes photos of things they have done each day.  It is clear from the hilarious photos that the kids are not watching TV, but are playing and using their imaginations to fill their days.  Go here and here to see some of their shenanigans.

I got to thinking, "My kids don't watch TV or play video games.  Instead of just seeing messes, I should take a closer look to see what they do."

I found:

A game they played exactly as the rules dictated, just like they always do.

Playdoh from their Easter basket.  The first day, they asked for tools.  I just gave them some cookie cutters.  Every single day, they pull out the exact same cookie cutters and make the exact same shapes.
Two activities can be done with cars.  Line them up in a straight line or "race" them so they crash into the wall.  These were wall-crashers.

A Lego set Turken received for his birthday, being put together exactly as the instructions spelled out.

Puzzles.  Always puzzles.

Despite my best efforts, my boys do not have an ounce of imagination. Zippo.  Zilch.  Nada.

They are their father.

It would never cross their minds to do anything any way other than the way it is "supposed" to be done.

They have received dozens of Lego sets over the years.  They have never, not once, used them to build a castle, a town, a horse, or anything else that wasn't what the directions said. 

They have never, not once, made anything with the hundreds of jars of Playdoh we've had over the years that wasn't made with a specific tool as the picture showed.

They love puzzles, seeing as how they are all organized and straightforward.

They love sports, with all the rules and referees who make sure those rules are followed.

Left to their own devices, they wouldn't come up with a single idea on their own.

Fortunately, I have one person besides me encouraging their imaginative juices.

Buttercup is full of creative ideas.

She will suggest, "Let's play Chopped." (like the show on Food Network) and the boys will get completely into it, coming up with all sorts of fabulous "meals". 

She'll want to put on a show, so recruits her brothers to be performers.  She will give them some direction, but they put on the finishing, creative flare.

Buttercup will pull out some craft supplies and gather the boys to make things. 

She has taken to heart the imaginative seeds I planted and let them flourish.

The boys have been willing soil for the seeds, but need constant watering and care to get their seeds to grow.

At Phoenix's third grade parent-teacher-student conference, we read his little questionnaire about school.  He wrote that he liked math but "loathed" writing.  He has always had the hardest time with creative writing in particular.   At one point, the class discussed the power of a catchy first sentence.  It was mentioned that a question or an exclamation was a good "grab".  For two years, every single thing he wrote for school started with a question or an exclamation. 

My boys like their rules and boundaries.

If Buttercup hasn't been home or has been busy, I will not find hilarious scenes like the ones Christine finds.  I will only find messes, because, despite all of their rule-following tendencies, my children can never remember the rule to clean up after themselves.

Are your kids creative?  What have you caught them doing?

Have a lovely day!


24 comments:

  1. Ah, logical boys. My brother was one of those, while I was the creative one. In the end he grew up to be a computer programmer and I grew up to work in a library and write silly stories :D. I bet you can guess which of us get paid better.

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    1. This is what I'm banking on. Five kids to split the cost of taking care of me when I'm old. I'm planning on living well. :)

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  2. At first, I thought your caption for the first photo was a joke. Are my kids creative? YES! (And boy, can that be exhausting!) Remember, my son was the one who played "dragon" in the kitchen, blowing out billows of flour "smoke"! http://www.thankfulme.net/2013/03/friday-family-history-three-year-old-in.html

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    1. I wish it was kidding.

      I love that story. Mostly because I didn't have to clean it. :)

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  3. Living in a house of only males (granted only 3)...THIS is exactly why women should rule the world! ;P

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  4. Attagirl, Buttercup! They'll need to get creative as they grow older and they'll thank her for insights into What Makes Girls Happy :)

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    1. They will be much better husbands because of her.

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  5. I wonder if that's a cry to a gender issue. I only have two girls so I have no basis for comparison. But they are always making up games to play and doing craft projects.

    As for the legos...I love the new sets but I miss the days of bucketfuls of blocks ready for assembly into anything I could imagine!

    Stopping by from A to Z! Happy Writing!

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    1. I've never bought the sets for my kids, knowing they wouldn't do anything but build it once and display it on a dresser. I encourage them to mix the sets and build something new, but they just give me a horrified look.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Girl, do I ever need to introduce your boys to redneck Uncle Jeffy. You wouldn't believe the "games" that guy can create outta nuthin'. Here's one if you are ever stuck in a hotel room on a rainy day: try throwing a hat(or any other object) into a shopping bag hanging from the doorknob. Extra points for jumping on bed while throwing or throwing from the shower.

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    1. I would love for them to meet him. They need a creative male influence in their lives. Uncle Jeffy sounds a whole lot like my brother, we just don't see him often enough. Although, instead of a hat, my brother would use water balloons.
      Thanks for the hotel idea. Hotels are very little fun with six kids.

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  7. You have a cute set of children. The one boy I have makes messes and leave them to start another one, but yes, he's creative.

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    1. Thank you. Glad to hear of creative boys. I do believe my boys' lack of creativity comes from their uncreative father.

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  8. I LOVE the idea of taking photos of the "messes!" We don't play video games, and TV is only an occasional something I've recorded with a teaching/learning element in it. Soooooo, they have to be creative and go outside or play around the house. Playing "Chopped" really made me smile - I'm going to have to try that one with the kids, I think they would love it, since we're all a bunch of foodies.

    P.S. I wish we lived closer too!! Our boys would have a great time together! :)

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    1. The Chopped thing is fun. They have done it both outside, with inedible items, and inside with food from my fridge and pantry. Phoenix was the judge, who actually had to eat the things they came up with.

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  9. So does using mis-matched dishes bother the boys? :)

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    1. Ha! No, but they do get annoyed when I run out of clean plates and make them use a bowl. :)

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  10. (So writes the mom who posted a pic of her boys playing barn tennis a few days ago)- I think that is total imagination!! And honestly, the sole thing I took away from reading this was that your house (and the Aums) still has toys laying around at the end of the day. It makes me feel so much better, cuz we do too. In each and every room right now. AUUUUGH. :)

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    1. You would think, except it started out with one boy on the barn, minding his own business, when another decided to play "tennis" like they do against the barn. The one on the roof accidentally got hit, and thus threw the ball back at (not to) the tennis player. Not imagination, but simple thug retaliation started it all.

      Ha! I'm glad you got something out of it at least. :)

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  11. I used to loathe writing. Now I dig it. Best of luck to the creative seeds in your children.

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  12. My photos would be different from yours.

    Lego sets rarely get completely built before the instructions are lost and they are creating spaceships out of a Harry Potter set. And scattering pieces ALL over the floor. Then it turns into a "dodge the landmine" game when you are walking barefoot.

    During a recent game of Battleship, Greg wanted to change the rules to allow the ships to be randomly moved at any time during the game. He was quite mad when I said no.

    We have a cabinet full of puzzles that no one ever touches. And if they did, they'd probably try to combine multiple puzzles... ;)





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    1. While I am creative and don't mind playing games differently than the rules dictate, you can't be messing with Battleship like that. I'm with you.

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!