Imagination: the Best Toy Ever

The grandest of all toys is free: it's simply a well-developed imagination.

“Mama! Today was one of the best days ever!” Will sang as he came running inside for dinner. What did we do that was so fun?


After a delightfully busy month, this week I cleared the schedule. I turned down wonderful sounding events so we could just stay home. Aside from our simple summer routine of memory work, story-time, and chores, I had nothing at all planned.

So the best-day-ever was almost exactly like yesterday, which was pretty much exactly like the day before. And yet it wasn’t, because of the best of all toys: imagination.

This morning Will was a farmer happily digging up dirt “to sell”. Then he was a king building a castle under the picnic table with Queen Rose.

When rain interrupted the castle construction, they came inside to read stories that transported us to faraway places.

After his nap, Will travelled on a Lego airplane to outer space… then he hid in a make-believe cave under the stairs. The rain kindly stopped in time for Will to emerge from his cave and build volcanos out of all the dirt he dug up this morning.

Parents spend hundreds of dollars on toys each year, but the simple fact remains, imagination is the best toy ever. (And it's totally free!)

Want to develop your child’s imagination? Here are five simple strategies.

Imagination: the Best Toy Ever

So you see, we hadn’t actually gone anywhere exciting or done anything new. But the mud-covered creature that came running in for dinner (and a shower!) with a huge grin on his face, had travelled around the world and through time. He was happy proof to me that imagination is the best of all toys.

His joy was an acknowledgment that in this fast-paced, electronics-dominated culture, it’s okay to just “do nothing” and let imaginations run wild.

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    • anna says

      I am so grateful for all those happy hours! 🙂 Thanks for the link to the article—it was excellent.

  1. says

    Love this post, Anna! Who says you have to have electronic things to be happy and content? I never did and I know others who didn’t either. Legos, dirt, trees to climb, stories to read or listen to, bikes to ride, . . . who needs a glowing screen inches away from your face to keep you from being bored? Okay, I’ll stay off my soapbox. 🙂

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