Imaginary Wonder (and a new writing project on the way)

Imaginary worlds are a true wonder! I love hearing about the different lands children create while they play, alone or with friends. Often, children who create and play in them are in touch with their creativity in ways adults can no longer imagine.
What we know about this kind of imaginary play is this:

Children who engage in imaginary play involving imaginary friends or worlds…
• use abstract reasoning skills
• grow socially as they are practicing taking on another’s perspective and experimenting with relationships
• engage in original thought
• are usually characterized as creative and cooperative

In our house, Civilizania is the land of choice. It’s a place filled with mystery, monsters, and mayhem.
A few years ago, when Civilizania first appeared in our home, Zeal and a good friend would play that our backyard “island” of plants and flowers was the land of Civilizania. They would meet together inside our house and board The Invisible Airplane (a plane only children and people who have been to Civilizania could see)
I hear there is a whole mythology surrounding the place, but apparently only parts of the mythology (passed down on the scales of the gun breathing dragons) are remembered, and sadly, some may be lost forever. But Zeal has recorded some of what he has “learned” about the place, and so we have hope the history will be retained. Last week, we ran across the sketchbook Zeal began in his preschool years as he began a “Research Guide to Civilizania”. Here are a few of the sketches. Of course, it being a research guide and all, he had us label the various pictures.

Studies show that imaginary play is most prevalent in children ages 3-6, and that, for whatever reason, this kind of play diminishes in the elementary years. So while Zeal isn’t so much excited about taking regular trips to Civilizania anymore, he has decided that he would like to make a picture book and story about it “for other little kids who might want to go someday.”

Here lies the beginning of our new writing adventure for the coming month(s). Exciting stuff awaits, I am sure.