Growing up my childhood hero was Anne of Green Gables. Her emphasis of imagination influenced my own twin sister and me to conjure up whole afternoons, whole summers, of endless games to play. It’s been important to me that my boys (who are granted only nearing 2) are encouraged to do the same. Sometimes this seems harder than it sounds- does anyone else fear that imagination seems a little by the wayside in a world of toys that practically play for you? After getting the boys pretend cell phones (as they aren’t allowed to play with real ones) I had initial buyers remorse as the phone had one sided conversations with itself and the boys listened, silently mesmerized. Then I realized they enjoyed the phone’s counting and number games, but still used their play kitchen’s bananas, musical maracas, and often just their hands to have “telephone” conversations constantly.
More recently they have a developed a new fascination that has inspired their creativity. We are usually the first ones to reach the playground in the morning and often the park crew is there getting the things ready for the day. This means the boys have met their new childhood hero: the man with the leaf blower.
Hurricane Irene upped the ante when the park crews were constantly using wood chippers, cherry pickers, and those ubiquitous leaf blowers to clear paths and downed trees in the park. The boys were happy viewers of all the excitement and then decided to join in.
While I was sweeping away one day in the kitchen the boys figured out how to remove the handles on the kiddie brooms I had given them. Ren took his handle and started patrolling the living room with the loudest sound I’ve ever heard him emit. Rrrrrreeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhh! Rrrrrrrrehhhrrreeeehhhhhhhhhhh! Sam stood in shock for a few seconds then quickly followed suit. RRRRRRREEEHHHHHHHH times 2. I worried the neighbors might complain, I worried child services might show up to investigate the outrageous sounds coming from our apartment. Were they crying? Was this some kind of whining on steroids? Then I realized they were doing spot on imitations of those men with leaf blowers. Wow.
This game doesn’t seem to get old either. They run for those broom handles right away when they wake up. At 6AM. RRRRRReehhhheeeehhheeehhh. We have put a moratorium on early morning toddler landscaping for obvious reasons. On our recent family trip there were no broom handles around. Sam grabbed our dog’s tennis ball launcher and set in clearing those pesky imaginary leaves off the furniture. Ren found a swiffer mop in a closet that apparently fit the bill, and blew away imaginary debris out from under the coffee table (here is link to my blog with a video of the boys leaf blowing).
I could relax, as imagination is clearly alive and well around here. What have you discovered that sparks your twins’ imaginations?