My four-year-old nephew stared at my box of wooden train track parts. “Hey! How’re you supposed to know which piece to use?”
“You can use any piece you want,” I assured him. “They all fit together so you can make the track any way you like.”
“And why are these BLOCKS in here? What are you supposed to do with those?”
“You can use the blocks to make buildings and train stations. Just use your imagination!”
“My imagination is already all used up.”
“I don’t think so. Let’s try this to find out: close your eyes. Now, think about your mother. Can you see her face?” He nodded. “That’s your imagination working! This box is special because you can make the train run any way you want!” I showed him how the curved pieces of track could be turned over to make a curve in two directions.
“Is that MAGIC? Does it do that by MAGIC?”
“No, the parts are made that way so you can build them however you like.” He accepted this statement and set to work.
“Hey! Look at THIS! This could be a roof!”
The triangular block could indeed make a very fine roof. “Yes! You are using your imagination! That’s great!” A house, water tower and playground tunnel made of blocks quickly followed.
“When my brother was little, before I was borned, I was stuck in dark oily goo and I couldn’t move very well. It was so dark and I couldn’t see anything, but then a dragon came and breathed fire on me! I had to get out of there so I came here.”
“Wow. You got out and came to my house?”
“No, No! That’s stupid. I came to MY house! I got away from that dragon. I think I killed it, then I came home.”
“Well I’m glad!”
Just think what might have happened had his imagination been full!