I love visiitng classrooms and lending wings to kids to help their imaginations take flight. If I don’t have enough real wings for everyone, I teach them the WINGS UP! sign.* I thought it was just me – because I love magic and the magical possibilities created through reading.
But no! Now there is a study in Denmark that shows wings are better building blocks for creating new worlds than building blocks! Check out what a blogging Dad has to say about this study in Why Costumes Foster More Creativity Than Blocks. The story has a great subheading – rules are overrated. I was only able to read two pages of the study with the link provided in the blog, but the conclusion of the study completely resonated with me: playing with toys that foster creativity makes kids feel like they are co-creators of their world. Imaginative play gives children a sense of control and a feeling that they contribute to their surroundings. The study showed that children’s tendency to develop play scenarios correlates with the growth of playful attitudes. And it showed that kids using building blocks developed limiting rules in the course of their play whereas kids with costumes and fairy wings cultivated imaginative environments and creative solutions to problems.
Books are the wings of older children. Reading gives kids the freedom to explore new worlds and the space to experiment with recreating their own world.
- To make the WINGS UP SIGN: Hold your hands out, palms facing you, thumbs sticking outward. Cross your wrists and link your thumbs. Wiggle your fingers and float your hands upward. © Jane F. Collen