I begged my parents for the expensive doll, and finally, for my birthday, they relented.
I tore the paper off, thrilled with my new present.
After playing with Dancerina for about three minutes, I abandoned her in the corner of the living room and proceeded to play with the box she came in. I played with this box for the next three weeks.
The doll, after all, could only spin in circles, which gets old pretty fast, but the box? Well, the box could be anything!
This story has become a bit of family folklore, but to my parent’s credit they didn’t discourage me from playing with the box, because they understood the power of imagination.
Imagination and creativity go hand in hand. They’re both important factors when it comes to a child’s (and adult’s) ability to innovate, problem-solve, and navigate new and unfamiliar situations.
In fact, studies show that a high CQ (Creativity Quotient) is a better indicator of future success than a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient).
Unfortunately, studies also show that American children are becoming less creative. Blame it on standardized tests, television, video games, whatever. The truth is creativity and imagination are muscles and just like any muscles you have to use ’em or lose ’em.
Summer is a great time for kids to exercise their creative muscles and stretch their imaginations. You can help. Give them the tools they need to create. Grab a box and fill it with paints, markers, crayons, paper, toilet paper tubes, glitter, and glue. Just don’t be surprised if they dump all that stuff out and play with the box!