Friday, October 3, 2008

My Imagination Flies

I recently read an article about Studio Creative Play, an enrichment program in New York that's dedicated to nurturing a child's imagination. The studio uses a warm and loving Holistic Process Approach to creativity-based programming.Here the children, ages 1 to 6, are challenged creatively rather than academically. Instead of math books and flash cards, you'll find classes in yoga and painting. Instructions on how to write upper and lowercase letters are replaced with creative movement and storytelling. Their goal is to foster the childrens' self-expression through imagination and play.

I was fascinated by this - it's a genius idea in that the programs encourage the children to ponder and to ask questions. It actually gets them thinking. I was starting to feel a little envious that we don't have something like this in San Diego. Then I discovered a DVD called My Imagination Flies by Sunturns Productions. Inspired by the mission and philosophy of Studio Creative Play, My Imagination Flies is the first in the World Creative Play series.

This no-frills DVD is big on imagination. It follows Khahtee, the program host, and a handful of children as she leads them in free, energetic activities. Her lively storytelling is engaging and spirited. The children dancing with colored scarves and playing the drums is amazing, as you can see each of them telling their own story. You feel relaxed and inspired as they practice yoga in a natural environment. The background music is peaceful. I enjoyed the voice-overs of the children during each segment, as they described what they were doing and how they were feeling. My favorite section of the DVD however, is the painting. A large canvas is placed in the middle of the floor - it's soon covered by colorful squirts of paint and molded into beautiful creations as it's spread in every direction. At first, the children use only their hands. Then, they make things even more interesting by using their whole body. Soon they become canvases themselves as they immerse themselves and each other in the paint. They are literally living pieces of art. It's surprising, delightful, and mesmerizing to watch.

I also love how at the conclusion of the DVD, you feel inspired to use your imagination and to think of ways to play creatively with your children. I felt it gave me renewed energy to explore and appreciate the simple things in life.

For more information and to purchase a copy of My Imagination Flies go here, and bring home a piece of Studio Creative Play.

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  1. I've also been reading about the benefits of free play--which under NCLB has been largely removed from public schooling (even preK). Free play helps children develop executive function skills like decision making, focus, follow-through, planning, cooperation, collaboration and other skills that are not nurtured in today's education system.

  2. Love this! Thanks for sharing! I am headed to their website right now!


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