Imagination travel — is that a thing? My 3 year old and I went to India a couple weeks ago. Not sure you believe me? It’s true. I never use to think I was very creative but with many compliments and comments from others, I am beginning to believe that I am. One of my favorite things to do as a Mom is to play pretend with my kids. In the past I have given all the credit for our adventures, to my daughter’s imagination.
Recently after my mom got to experience my daughter’s imagination first hand, she pointed out my contribution — one I hadn’t realized I’d been making. I can honestly say I never plan pretend adventures (and often I don’t realize we are on one until it is well on it’s way!) The adventures just happen. Because of this I didn’t see my own talent, because this mothering part of me happens to come naturally.
(Let’s take a moment to celebrate a mom being able to acknowledge that she is good at something!)
Encouraging our children
My mom called me out in the best way and she is so right! I encourage my daughter’s imagination and aid it with good questions. The questions I ask my daughter play a part in the development of her imagination. How cool is that?!
So how did we end up in India? Welcome to my life!
It was just a normal afternoon, like any other. The baby is taking her afternoon nap. I walk into my room for any number of good reasons, to do something normal I’m sure. I am stopped by a sight that puts a smile to my face and piques my curiosity.
My 3yr old is under the blanket on my bed. So of course I ask “What are you doing?”
She is hiding.
Which leads to more questions. I ask the first one that comes to mind.
“Are you hiding from elephants?”
She answers affirmatively and the fun begins. I, of course, don’t want to be trampled by elephants so I jump in to hide with her.
Next question is “Where are we?” and because I’m a good question-asker, I don’t stop there. I encourage her imagination with my own knowledge. I know of two places with elephants outside the zoo.
“Are we in India or Africa?”
She informed me we are in India.
Since we had travelled all the way to India I asked her another question.
“You know India is pretty far from home. Is there anything else you want to see while we are here?”
My princess replies she wants to see a palace.
Thanks to technology, I have a smartphone on me and I ask Google to show us palaces in India.
The next thing we know we are no longer hiding from elephants but touring very ornate Indian Palaces and learning some cool things from a travel blog that came up in our search.
After an exciting afternoon we decide it is time to fly home and by then, her sister has woken up from her nap.
So simple. So unplanned, and so fun!
This wonderful mother-daughter moment is contributed by my daughter-in-law, BrookeLynne Wilcox. It has been a pleasure to watch her encourage imagination with her sweet family.
Imagination travel is valid. Use it to create adventures with your children and fuel their love of exploration and discovery. It will help prepare them for real travel and teach them to love all the possibilities that travel provides. There is so much your children can learn by exploring and imagining together.