Fantasy: 7 easy ways to foster a rich fantasy life with your child



Your wish is my command....

Fantasy is a playground where imagination is king and the world wraps itself around, holding and embracing in wonder and delight.  Space and time stretch into the dimensionless planes, creatures and playmates are called forth from the ethers to dance and sing.  We meld into different forms as easily as our imagination can carry us.  We are gods, living as gods, taking on any form at will.  This is the world of fantasy. 

Listen to the MUSTN'TS [sic] child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
Shel Silverstein

It is from the fantasy world that we call forth our reality for reality, the tangible, sensory universe, is the just secondary causality of the imagination (Thomas Troward). Fantasy is the vast ocean of all possibilities and potentialities, the realm of Schrödinger, wherein all possibilities exist simultaneously.  Fantasy is the Primordial Mother, the first cause, the original genie in the bottle. What is your wish? What it the you call forth from this field of all potential?

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive knowledge.  Albert Einstein

We are calling forth, creating reality at all times, usually with repetitious thoughts, our fantasies of reality, that we inherit from our parents, ancestors, society, culture, gender, race and humanity (see The Box in Activity 7).  These dwell and bubble forth from the subconscious mind, and they create our world.

As a storyteller, I am often asked by children, is this a real story?  My answer is always, "of course."  It has eternal life in the world of story, which is just as real, if not more real than the stories we create in our lives.  Native Americans believed that dream time, the shamanic realm in which all is connected, was reality and that what we experience on this physical plane is the illusion (Black Elk, Ishi, Chippewa elder John Thunderbird).  I have come to agree with that.
We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.  Iris Murdoch
In fantasy, we awaken the Primordial Mother.  Not needing to know how, we imagine mastery, attainment, courage, grace, awakening, and union and she gives to us in her abundance.  There is evidence for this all around us.  Not only in the beauty and eloquence of the natural wonders but in the incredible feats of the human race.  For some, this recalls the seven wonders of the world or possibly space travel, modern medicine or quantum physics, but for me, I am awestruck by the great human migrations of prehistory, especially those of the Polynesians.  Primordial Mother makes the impossible possible.

How can we use fantasy to recall our Divinity?  Simply in imagining that we are that I AM we rise out of the illusion of separation and contraction.  This is the ancient practice of śiva-bhāvanā, Sanskrit for "identification with the Lord." I am Shiva. So Hum. सो ऽहम्
Fantasy is the only truth. Abbie Hoffman
Fantasy resides in the sacral chakra, manifesting thought and desire into form. Its good to exercise it with fantastical intention every day.

💖Karen

Affirmation:  I am the face of God
Chakra engaged: Sacral

Activity 1: Sticky Hair

The story of the Prince of 5 Weapons and Sticky Hair is from the Buddhist tradition.  Not only is it really fun to imagine this monster, but it is easy to see that the strength of the Prince resides in his belief.  In the end the monster bows to this strength above all the weapons in the arsenal.  It is not necessary, or even unadvised, to explain or deconstruct the story to a child in this way.  Simply tell it, as it is, and trust in the story, letting the archetypes meet and play with the child in the realm of the imagination.

Find the full story for retelling on Anita's Notebook.  It can also be found in the great read-together story collection Buddha at Bedtime by Dharmachanri Nagaraja.

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.   Peter Pan

Activity 2: The Magical Mystical Mountain

Daydream together.  Imagine a place, we like to call it the magic, mystical mountain where anything is possible.  You can shapeshift, or have powers.  You are greeted by magical beings and animals.  You journey to amazing places or live in enchanted realms.  This is a place where you can see, do and be anything.  We are dipping our toes into Primordia, the realm of all possibilities.  This is a fun, life-affirming, co-creative story that creates connection, gives voice to dreams and activates the realms of reality.

Draw a picture of your dream world together.  Notice that your drawing cannot completely encompass your imagination.  Books are like this too, in that, they fix and limit the possibilities available in the mind.

To learn more about story magic, see my post Why Storytelling with Children.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.   Albert Einstein


Activity 3: Turn off the Screen

TV now is an antiquated word that means screens: games, computer, phone, television, and so on. Give your child a break from the devices and watch as their inherent imagination and creativity reboot.  Like all things that intoxicate, screens require judicious and balanced use.  If your child is a daily user, it will take several weeks for their brains to accustom to slowing down and refocusing.  But, the wait and tension is well worth it.  You will witness imagination unleash, imagination not limited to the storylines in games and videos.

To learn more on the detrimental impact on screens on brain development and imagination in children, read Virtual Child, or see the website from Cris Rowan, Zone In.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.   Albert Einstein

Activity 4:  Breathe into the imagination

There is so much value in pranayama, or breath exercise. Start early and practice often with your child for so many wondrous and miraculous benefits.  It modulates and eases emotions, promotes rest and relieves anxiety, and also stimulates connection in the right and left hemispheres of the brain, energizes the shakti and promotes well being.  Kids take to it breath exercises if presented in a game or story. Just like adults, they resent being told to "take a deep breath" in the midst of their anger.

To stimulate imagination, before telling a story, reading a book, or creating a daydream together, make it routine to enter this fantasy realm through the breath.  To stimulate the imagination, use ocean, or ujjayi breath.

  • Stand or sit comfortably.
  • Close your eyes or gaze softly.
  • Breath in normally. On the exhale, press the tongue to to upper palate, and push air against the back of your throat.  This makes a sound with the back of your throat like a calm wave receding. 
  • Exhale like this for a count of three
  • Inhale again normally, then exhale again for the count of three. 
  • Think of the ocean sounds made by your breath. 
  • Continue to breath in this way several more times.  Imagine that you are sitting on the beach, listening to the waves. 
For more breath play with children, I recommend the book Breathe with Me: Using Breath to Feel Strong, Calm, and Happy by Mariam Gates.

Activity 5: Loose parts play

Build a fantasy world with loose parts.  What are loose parts?  Its the new name for upcycled trash and recycling that you repurpose into endless open ended creative construction projects.  Its also sometimes served up in specialty classes in schools for STEM learning.  Open ended toys have no fixed purpose or storyline, so they engage and enact the imagination to a much greater degree than say a doll in the form of a movie character.  Offer your child the following materials and see what amazing things emerge:

  • Recycling: cardboard, toilet paper, paper towel, wrapping paper tubes, cans, plastic and glass bottles, old calendars, egg cartons, magazines, newspaper, tissue paper, paper and plastic bags, corks, bottle tops
  • Old clothes
  • Connecting materials: like tape, glue, twine, yarn, pipe cleaners, wire, stapler, needle and thread
  • Cutting tools: Scissors, box cutters, metal snips, hole punch
  • Color: paint, dye, crayons, markers
  • Embellishments: glitter, beads, buttons, hole punches
  • Nature items: sticks, leaves, acorns, flowers, bark, rocks
  • Moving parts: marbles, nails, screws, nuts, bolts, chads
  • A large space and a helping hand

To get started it helps to have a prompt or invitation.  The amount of materials can be an overwhelming sight for your child.  You may launch the play with a book or idea.  For example, our loose parts bin comes out every time we need to build a leprechaun trap, fairy house, or new marble run.  We also bring it out for dioramas, which have endless reasons and opportunities to build and make.

Activity 6: Schrödinger's Gift

Another way to engage the imagination is to wrap a box in gift wrap.  Wrap it beautifully.  I call this game Schrödinger's gift.  Make sure your child knows that you put nothing inside the box, and at the same time it can hold anything in it.  Take turns guessing at what is inside.  Know that once you open the box, only 1 possibility can exist at a time, but when the box remains wrapped, all potentials exist.

Fantasy mirrors desire. Imagination reshapes it.    Mason Cooley


Activity 7:  You are the Face of God

This repetitious, mantra- like song of So Hum, is an easy sing-along for kids of all ages.

The Face of God
By Karen Drucker

You are the face of God
I hold you in my heart,
You are a part of me
You are the face of God…

You are the face of love
I hold you in my heart
You are my family
You are the face of God…


For the older child, teen and adult, The Box from artist L.iZ speaks to breaking free from that limited mind that I write of in the opening paragraph.  This mind is limited by the conditions of our birth and our forgetfulness.  It is our inherited consciousness.  

The Box
by L.iZ



Listen here
And here on Spotify

They made a box you climbed right in
When did you begin to end

They made a box you lost all your friends
Why the hell did you give in

CHORUS
What happened to your strength
Feel it pulsing through your veins
Taste familiar freedom again
Thank God you've been to that sweet place

They made a box was dark within
Couldn't see your own true skin

They made a box your kids born in
What's the cost of diggin' in

CHORUS

No box prevents you livin' free
You control your destiny
Find the others free like you
Do as you were born to do

They made a box you're peeking out
Open wide no room for doubt

They made a box and slammed it tight
You kicking free fight for your life

CHORUS

Tap into a higher plane
Feel it filling up your veins

Sponsors

Thank you to my sponsors for supporting this week's lessons.

Please contact me if you'd like to sponsor a post for Science of Mind child info *at* SOM-child.com.  Find a the list of upcoming topics at The Center for Spiritual Awakening children's program.  New topics are published each Sunday.

https://www.centerforspiritualawakening.org/csachildrens-program.html

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More info here: Zoom class begin May 20


Photo credits

Meadow: spirit111
Wormhole: Genty
Goddess statue: Waldkunst
Monster: mgeejnr
Girl and snail: peter_pyw
Boy watching screen: Teresalunt
Girl on beach: Irodori
Sheet metal car:  Anja
Gift: Ольга Бережна

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