Not long ago, I was playing with my granddaughter, Ava, and she found my turkey baster. For the rest of that day, it became a microphone, a bug eradicator, a musical instrument, a giggle stick, a light saber and a magic wand. I don’t think that any toy on the market today could have tickled her as much as that stupid turkey baster did. We sang, we played and we presented all the princesses in the room: “Princess MAMA!” “Princess PAPA!” “Princess GRAMPY!” “Princess LULU!” “Princess UNCLE DAVID!” And of course, “Princess AVA!”
Her “coloring book” is a plain notebook of lined paper, and Ava wouldn’t have it any other way. Each page shows her artwork: colored lines, circles, dots, arrows, cats, stars, triangles, squares and so on. I would outline a shape, and Ava would name it, then color it. (Good girl–she draws OUTSIDE the lines, too!)
Ava remains loyal to a stuffed dolly with a plastic face named “Baby.” Ave keeps her covered with her special blankie, a dish towel, and takes her everywhere. She enjoys her giant-sized blocks, a yard sale ride-on tractor, and the usual Mickey Mouse clutter. Like her mother, she is fond of snappy shoes, such as her sparkly pink sneakers. Just recently, her dad made a tent out of a blanket stretched over a chair and a table, and Ava thought that was beyond wonderful.
At Christmas, her parents have her bring gifts to everyone in the room. I think she likes that even more than her own presents. At age two and a half, Ava is already enjoying her own imagination. Her parents encourage this and play along with it. Every waking moment is teachable, and her parents waste no time in feeding that clever and active little brain.
A child with an active imagination, who is encouraged to use that imagination, is a positive power in the world. We don’t know what Ava will decide to do in life, but we do know that whatever she chooses, she will do it with intelligence, joy, love and imagination. Look out, World!