I think that there is value in a child of the 21st century being able to navigate their way through today's technology. We hear about it all the time in staff meetings and through professional development. My kids can swipe their way through an iPad like nobody's business. However, I think that we also need to be fostering their creativity and imagination in as many ways possible. For my five-year-old, that takes the form of imaginative play.
When I was growing up, we didn't have iPods, laptops, or interactive games (unless you count PacMan on my Atari, which I don't.) We left the house in the morning, rode our bikes to our friends' houses, made up secret identities for each other and acted out entire scenarios of meeting handsome princes and riding off into the sunset. I was gone for hours and didn't come home until the old-fashioned dinner bell at my grandmother's house rang. I remember one summer I spent hours at my friend Maria's house. We laced up our roller skates, cued up Lionel Richie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" and choreographed and entire skating routine to that song.
|Nick, aka The Caped Defender|
Me: Who are you supposed to be?
Nick: I'm the Caped Defender!
Me: Who do you defend?
Nick: I defend people that are in trouble. And I fight evil.
Me: Do you have any super powers?
Nick: Of course. (He says in a very exasperated tone.)
Me: Well, what are they?
Nick: I use my laser eyes to cut through glass. I use super strength to pull stuff that are really heavy.
Me: Anything else?
Nick: Oh yeah. I have a confuse ray.
Me: What is a confuse ray?
Nick: I confuse someone if they are bad, then I cut them in half with my laser eyes.
That kid keeps me amused, that's for sure. A little while later, I told him that I needed to go to the grocery store for something. He asked if he could come along. I said of course he could. He then asked if he could come as the Caped Defender, because I might need help lifting something heavy, and with his super strength, he would be a big help.
I know he won't be this age for long. I have two other "big boys" as proof that they grow up. So, I'm going to enjoy his active imagination and adorable speech as long as I can.