Following on from her previous highly successful books, Rapunzel’s Supermarket and It’s Not a Bird Yet, Ursula Kolbe’s new book is aimed at parents, grandparents and all who work with young children.

What sparks children’s imagination? What inspires their ideas? What can families do to nourish and support children’s creative thinking? These questions thread through this little book of ‘big ideas’. While Ursula’s two previous books feature children in childcare centres, schools as well as at home, this book focusses on children’s spontaneous play at home. Through collecting anecdotes from families as well as her own observations of children’s imaginative experiences at home, Ursula finds a wealth of material that reaffirms the importance of self-invented imaginative play in children’s development.

Dreaming of Horses - Felt-tip Pen - Naomi (6)

Dreaming of Horses – Felt-tip Pen – Naomi (6)

Children’s Imagination:

  • Opens our eyes and ears to what’s happening ‘under our noses’ when children play at home—with anything from seedpods to felt-tip pens or even an iPad
  • Reveals through real stories and photographs that children’s joyful unstructured and unhurried play—as neuroscientists, psychologists and educators have long said—encourages them to become imaginative and inventive thinkers
  • Not a craft “how to” book, it uncovers valuable clues to what sparks creativity by looking at children’s responses to the unexpected: how they make imaginative connections between unrelated things and set themselves new challenges
  • Breaks new ground for parents and teachers by discussing things digital, and provides valuable suggestions for parents interested in ‘slow parenting’.

For all who live and work with children 1.5-10 years.    

“A lovely, lovely book—well and truly loveable! A cracker.”
Janet Robertson, educational consultant and teacher, Mia-Mia Child and Family Study Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney.

“Ursula Kolbe has written a delightful and inspiring paean to the magic that happens when we allow children to play the way children are supposed to play: freely, spontaneously, joyfully, unencumbered by targets, timetables and adult agendas. Children’s Imagination: Creativity Under Our Noses is also a practical guide, packed with ideas for making rich, imaginative play a part of daily life. Anyone who wants to give children a childhood worthy of the name should read it.”
Carl Honoré, author of Under Pressure: How the Epidemic of Hyper-Parenting is Endangering Childhood; also In Praise of Slow and The Slow Fix.

Birds, Felt-tip pen, Luna (4)

Birds, Felt-tip pen, Luna (4)

“This little book is a collection of very big ideas—ideas that can change life with our children. Through real stories it opens the door again to what we know but seem to have forgotten in this age of standardization—that creativity is at the heart of lasting and meaningful learning.”
Pauline Baker, artist, educational consultant, studio teacher, Tucson, Arizona.

“Inspiring and a joy to read. Ursula Kolbe reveals the importance of paying attention to the myriad possibilities that children find in everyday materials and provides insights into their thinking. She encourages the adult to be present—not in control or with outcomes in mind—but rather to participate as needed and to appreciate the wonder that children find in their play.”
Wendy Shepherd, Director and lecturer, Mia-Mia Child and Family Study Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney.

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