imagination station

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My kids are big fans of the Adventures in Odyssey series. If you haven’t encountered it before, it’s a radio drama-style program for kids, but with Bible messages. Anyway, a regular feature of each episode is the Imagination Station. From what I can make out, it’s some kind computerized, gadgety, time machine that makes your imagination take you to places that offer a moral lesson. In one episode, a character who comes back to visit and help make a commercial, credits the invention for encouraging him to use his imagination to think independently and problem-solve.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have our own Imagination Station, I thought. Hey, why couldn’t we? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just a spot to think creatively, without pressure or demands or any particular structure. So I got to work, and turned our former homeschool table, which looked like this…

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…into something more inspiring. Like this…

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It makes me feel more inspired, anyway, and if I have to look at it in my living room, I prefer if it can contribute to the overall aesthetic.

But here’s how the Imagination Station works. It’s quite simple, really. I set up a little sign…

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… And then I set up a simple activity. It might be blocks one week, or teeny, tiny mosaic tiles the next…

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Puzzles, paper scraps, twist ties, stamps and pipe cleaners have all made an appearance. Mostly, the things I bring out are things that haven’t been looked at or played with for a loooooong time, interest having long since waned. But when they are brought out, only a week at a time, and spun as the Imagination Station feature, they are seen with new eyes. And, ummm, imagination.

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I don’t know how life changing and inspiring it will turn out to be, but it does keep the kids quiet and engaged for a few minutes at a time. So that I can blog about it. How’s that for win-win?

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