We’ve all heard it. In fact we’ve all said it: “the best toy in the house is the cardboard box!” As parents we are constantly reminded that the active imaginations of children really don’t need much stimulation to get going…and going, and going, and going!
Just the other day my very own living room was transformed from, well, a living room into a series of caves and burrows, an enclave for ambushing mini-pirates!
Kids constantly mimic and replay the world around them, and though I am no pirate (lol), my daughters do seem to have many of my mannerisms and modes of communication down to a science (arrr me hearties!) They listen to learn to repeat.
When we allow our children space for their imaginations to flourish, they do. And so, handing a kid a toy that does all the talking, all the expressing for them really can be more of a disservice than anything. A smiling doll will “always be happy”, a monster truck will “always be loud”, etc. When in the real world, let’s face it, people are so much more complex than “always happy”, and monster trucks may very well be hybrid!
The thing about the old cardboard box is that it actually gets them thinking outside it (the box, that is) rather than being fixated on what pre-imagined things lays in it. And, it seems to me we’ll all agree, that there’ll never ever be too much ingenuity for humanity’s evolution and growth: environmentally, socially, holistically.
When we provide surroundings that stimulate rather than bombard, invite rather than perscribe, we make space for the little big-people that our youth are yet becoming…and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.