Chez Cozy Cottage

My daughter and her friend have an imaginary world outside. Some of ours and some of their plastic dinosaurs ended up outside and the girls began building them houses, personalities, and a world.

They are outside creating, building, imagining, storytelling, and playing for hours. They only come in if they get absolutely hungry, cold, or are forced in for lessons.

When I asked my daughter what they were doing out there, she described it as telling and acting out an audiobook.

It makes me happy that they have this free and unstructured time outside. They are developing their creativity, imagination and storytelling. They are building and designing homes and places, sometimes looking for exact materials, and are likely developing their aesthetic. The co-creation aspect of storytelling is interesting too. They pass the story back and forth, add in different things, and feed off of each other’s imagination. One of the girls will be narrating, and then the other will jump in, “meanwhile…”. Co-creation must require some adaptability and open-mindedness. I think it must also feel empowering and exciting to get to co-create and control the story.

It is also obviously just fun because they choose to spend hours and hours out there. My daughter will choose to work on the houses in her free time even when her friend isn’t available.

I’m a big proponent of letting kids experience constructive boredom, play in natural spaces, and allowing them time for unstructured, independent play with open-ended materials. And it is fun to see what they dream up!