The topic of the Summer Picnic Talk on ABC and 123 this week is imagination. I was looking for a fitting title of my post, and went to The Quote Garden. That's where I found this quote from George Scialabba, "Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun". I think all of us have imagination, it's more of a matter how we display it. For example, I dream up different worlds or travel from the past into present. My husband lives completely in here and now, but he is able to imagine and build things without going on Internet in search of patterns and examples. I certainly hope that Anna will be a mix of both of us, and this topic couldn't come at a better time. I wrote a big post on Play and Imagination in April called Play is Fundamental, where I shared some highlights from an awesome book I read at the time. It's amazing for me to see how my daughter's imagination took off in the last couple of months. She was always very verbal, and she talks to herself all the time while playing - making up scenes, using leaves for the fish and a stick for a fishing pole, declaring a house in the neighborhood a castle, asking about whether there could be ghosts in her room. She still prefers to play by herself and not willing to involve other children in her pretend play, but she is very happy when either I or my husband play with her. I try to do my best to join her play, listen to her questions and help her expand her fantasy worlds without taking over. We also try to have a lot of open-ended toys and other materials for her play - boxes, sticks, rocks, plastic containers, water for outside play, stuffed animals, playdoh and building blocks. If you look at the picture above, you will see that a lot of her toys are built from basic blocks by her father. Of course, Anna cannot built those towers and merry-go-rounds yet, but she is exposed to possibilities, to the fact that one doesn't have to buy toys all the time, that one can create them or just use non-toy objects instead. I am determined to make sure that she always has some time for unstructured play, where she is the one calling the shots and exercising her powers of imagination - the true queen of her own world.