“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and strength, use it to create.” — Maria Montessori
My daughter reminded me the other day that she would spend hours playing in a laundry basket, pretending she was in a boat with her “blankie” as the sail. Thinking back, the laundry basket was always available and out. We rarely had time to fold the clothes before they were back in rotation. What good fortune for her! She was able to seize upon both her imagination and the moment, and set off to sail.
Long before she could read, it was not uncommon to find her thumbing through books while holding her blanket and a stuffed animal or two. She became a voracious reader at an early age and always ready for story time. Among those books, there must have been a copy of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are…
We often rush to give our kids things before they have the chance to discover them in unexpected ways. Had we thought she was interested in boat play, we may have tried to surprise her with a wooden boat for her bedroom or outside, thereby eliminating the possibility of her creating her own boat. And worst yet, she surely wouldn’t look at a laundry basket the same way as she does today. It’s simply another way to nurture the child’s natural development with Montessori at home.