I have just returned from a holiday with our three-year-old granddaughter. As well as being a magical experience for me, it also reaffirmed all that I believe in when looking at how best to develop entrepreneurship and creativity for the 21stCentury.
I have always said that children are born naturally creative and that it is adults that destroy that creativity without realising it. However, being a bit removed from direct contact with children I had begun to believe the commercial hype of the latest toy fads and the draw of technology.
I am glad to say that creativity and imagination are still alive and well in the children of today. Over the last two weeks I have been in an environment where Ipads seem to have been made obsolete and where expensive toys gave way to the creative mind of the child.
At breakfast the simple play area of slides and climbing frames were the big draw. My own granddaughter loved having me alongside her helping her to create fun reasons for climbing and sliding. When was the last time I heard that ‘I am the king of the castle, you are the dirty old rascal’! All too soon there were other children speaking a variety of languages that wanted to join in the fun.
At the big waterpark, children from other countries that wanted to be with my granddaughter and myself as we invented imaginary crocodiles and dolphins also joined us.
There was also a second playground there where the tree house became an imaginary shop and where fir cones became the supplies for the shopkeeper that strongly resembled my granddaughter.
Most delightful was to see a soft-mat covered area turned into an imaginary dance studio where children would dance and do acrobatics with total abandon.
The only sad thing about all of this was the lack of other parents or grandparents who wanted to share in this imaginary world. Most preferred to top up the tan whilst consuming another lager.
It is easy to get disillusioned with the world and particularly the adults that have an unending ability to screw things up. But then a couple of weeks like this confirm that we are still creating the best possible imaginative material for coping with the 21stCentury.
Because of this I come back re-energised and determined to continue my desire to convince as many as possible to nurture that innate talent rather than to sacrifice it on the conveyor belt of clone producing education.
Thank you to the children at that holiday and particularly my granddaughter for reaffirming my beliefs. May you never lose that imaginary spirit that you displayed.