Often the answer is close by – as close as our continuing, as teachers and parents, to ask a particular kind of question, a way of inquiring and sharing with children, that brings the imaginative and playful experience into the forefront of knowing and learning. Perhaps, it is our own wondering, along with children, as to what might be the thoughts of a bird’s stillness, or how and where do turtles go to dream. Certainly, it is the right of children, even ourselves, to allow our summer minds to play, to bring into relief the shape and meaning of what isn’t always the correct answer – but is most of all a way of understanding and seeing the world, as if it were a summer day, imagined into its own particular kind of reality and meaning.
My imagination is in a place where there is water and light.
There is a boat. When you see it, it stops.
Then you get on it.
- Isabella, 1st/2nd Grade
Let us go then, and along with Isabella, take her boat – and for the brief interlude that is summer, letting our imagination become its watered universe, its light filled journey, its unique place of dreaming that might just bring with it another dimension of knowing – a place of invention and possibility, our turtle and bird minds at last – imagining and at play.
And come September, how much there might be to share with children, an ageless conversation that could easily continue – until next summer.
Enjoy and enjoy.
Touchstone Center for Children
Writings by children from the following books by Richard Lewis: "I Catch My Moment: Art and Writing by Children on the Life of Play"; "We Are Rivers", illustrated by Kathy Creutzburg; and "Taking Flight, Standing Still: Teaching Toward Poetic and Imaginative Understanding"; Copyright © Touchstone Center Publications, 2007, 2010, and 2011; Photographs from the Touchstone Center Archives, 2018.