As previous generations did, adults of today look at the youth and shake their heads. With the explosion of technological gadgets and the Internet, some grownups fear that young people are caught up in a universe of electronics that stifles their imagination.
Fantasy is still alive and well, though, showing up in blogs and more unusual places. Kids still love to let their imaginations soar. It’s simply a matter of expressing themselves in different ways and exploring new alternatives.
The rich landscape of gaming
There’s no doubt about it: Video games are here to stay. While some may argue that the electronic age is detrimental to the health of the nation’s youth, others disagree.
Video games are seen as an outlet, or escape from reality. It’s possible to enter new worlds at the click of a button. Suddenly, children can navigate a completely different universe or at least get away from their normal lives while they play the game.
They can take control of their character, build the person they want to be, and see where their adventure will take them. Every time kids play a game, they are using their imaginations, pretending they are in a completely different place.
With the assistance of graphics and video game designers, kids can go places they never went before.
Fantasy and science fiction is big in literature
One need only look at the most popular books in recent years to see that kids love to visit new worlds through literature as well. From the Harry Potter series to Twilight and the Hunger Games, the most popular books in modern times have taken readers into the unknown.
When children dip into a book, they find themselves transported into new realms or discover that fantastic creatures and situations intrude on the everyday world. It’s a benefit for children as they learn how to look at the world through someone else’s eyes and broaden their horizons.
Art is another means of expression that expands a child’s mind
In addition to using books and games to travel into the unknown, children often use art to go on a journey into the mind. It’s a simple process.
When children have paper and a variety of art supplies, they can go anywhere they want to go, transferring their ideas to their canvas through the magic of their fingertips. It’s an excellent way to be expressive and creative at the same time.
The fact that for many children, a stylus and electronic tablet have replaced pencil and paper hasn’t altered the activity of creating something from nothing but one’s own mind.
Imagination is far from dead. Children of today still love to pretend and have flights of fancy. They’re simply using different methods to achieve the same goals that their parents did.
Grownups would be wise to embrace the many ways in which young people can explore their emotions and use their minds to pretend, dream, and create. When our youth are exposed to many different influences, they’re more likely to develop into critical thinkers who can look beyond four walls to see endless possibilities in their surroundings.