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Imagination can take you places

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” said Albert Einstein.

I whole heartedly agree. I believe it is extremely important, especially in children to nurture imagination and make it grow. Most children are imaginative. But formal schooling which lays emphasis on scoring marks by giving exact answers (especially in many of the Indian schools) mostly kills imagination. 

Most schools in India, have printed colouring books for Art (especially in the lower classes) and they expect the children to colour within the lines. This is an activity which totally kills creativity and imagination.(If you want to know why read this). I do wholeheartedly endorse Susan Striker's 10 cardinal rules for teaching Art. (a long time back I used to teach Art to children and these rules were exactly what I believed in)


Anti-colouring books (By Susan Striker) are a good exercise to develop critical thinking skills and to nurture imagination in Children. My two  children (son who is 13 and daughter who is 9) absolutely love them.

I too do these exercises with them and I, despite being an adult, thoroughly enjoy it.

We treat this time with reverence--it is a 'special activity with mummy' time.  If they have fought with each other or disobeyed  me,then I don't do it that day. (The point I am trying to make is that they truly treasure the time I spend doing stuff like this with them).

Here are a few pages of what we did. On each page we took a small part of the picture, to do the exercise and then passed the sheets around so each one got to do each exercise. Click each image to see the enlarged view.



'Space explorers have discovered flowers growing on the moons of Jupiter. What do they look like?' asks the question. You can see what I drew :P :) and also what my children drew.

What do you wish for?

How do you look when you first get up in the morning?

What do you think God looks like? (My daughter did not know what to draw for this one. So she said she was just copying mine. I loved what my son drew and wrote ('a form which can take any shape') which I felt was really profound for his age.)

Some people think there is a man or a woman in the moon and others say the moon is made of green cheese. What do you think of when you look at the moon?
I loved what my daughter drew for this one.(she has drawn an alien). I liked my son's drawing too.

If any of you want to do this activity (whether or not you have children, trust me it's a great creative thinking exercise) , do post it on your blogs (if you have one) with a link back to this post and I would surely have a look!

Vive la imagination!


  1. What a fantastic experiment! This is so much better than coloring books! As you rightly say Vive la imagination! your depiction of asking for coffee in the morning is hilarious and so is Atul wondering if he can act sick today :)
    My other favorite is Purvi wishing for never ending wishes ! Clever that girl !

  2. Wow, that's an expressive activity and doubles as a bonding time too.

    even i have this 'play time with mummy' along with my 14 and 12 year old.Among other games, we play a word game in which you have to arrive at the word through clues. This is a good game to activate your thinking skills and a vocab enhancer too.

  3. WAOW.
    I'm definitely doing this one. Fun!

  4. Man those rules are profound!

    Please archive these parenting posts coz I will be using them when the baby grows up (which will be very soon :))!

  5. Preeti, I'm glad i read your post today...the anti-colouring book page by susan striker is a good reference. Thanks so much! I loved the way you and your children have made full use of the imagination... esp. on God and the early morning ritual (lol). Thanx again! :)

  6. The printable pages are amazing! It is wonderful to see the different kinds of activities you do with Atul and Purvi. How you come across these resources??

  7. This one is truly an eye-opener. Brilliant post, Preeti!

  8. Thanks Preeti!!

    This post is excellent. I have already gone through Susan's website and even shown it to my 7 years old daughter.

    Both of us love the concept and will definitely give it a try :-)

  9. whoaa
    imaginations definitely add sugar and spice to life!! other wise cheeni kum hai cheeni kum
    i feel like searchng all my drawing sheets on which i made such drawings :) :P longgg ago !!
    i loved atuls version of GOD!! its the BEST " A form which can take any shape "!! whoaa...a to be writer i guess ,,,,,!:)
    and purvis alien is cute too !!

  10. wonderful post.. :)

    Imagination is the key to creativity and without imagination life can become extremely bland and tasteless.. :)

  11. Sushobhan :Thank you. I agree.

    Afshan:Thanks so much! Posted something on your FB wall :))

    Shobha: Do try it. You can print out some of the activities. They're indeed great.

    Priya Mani:Thanks a lot :)

  12. Aathira: I read LOTS plus have worked with children for nearly 8 years. Used to run my own workshops for kids on developing thinking skills.

    SK: yeah--early mornings are crazy! Day should just begin at noon! :D

    Shachi: Thank you. Just click on the label 'parenting' on the right and you will get all the parenting posts.

    Suchta: oh yes--lots of fun.

    Asha: Yes--your word game sounds good!

    Ruch:Thanks! Yes--so much better than colouring books.

  13. I love this post!! Especially that 'How do you look when you first get up in the morning?'...Atul's drawing in that reminds me of my own younger self :) :)
    Your kids are SO creative too (bound to be with a Mom like you)! Kudos! Imagination indeed shouldn't be limited to art books. Agree with Susan Striker :)

  14. Creative yaa...awesome. The site is pretty useful.

    I have written the review.

    Hope you enjoy it.
    Take care

  15. Jaya: Thanks you so much for a lovely review! Tweeted it :)

    Nandana: Thanks so much :) yes--that is exactly how mornings are in our home :)

  16. Preeti, just wanted to thank you once again coz my 7-yr old was giggling non-stop when we started doing this for the weekend activity. She loved the 'time' so much that she couldnt have enough of it and she too started framing such questions. Well, talk about family time....and special thanks to you! :))


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