Everyday Adventures Parenting

The Power of Imagination

Written by Stuart Wickes

The Power of Imagination

Stuart Profile SmallParenting is a journey of the imagination. And in the early years, we are all in it together, creating superheros from Lego and Princess Towers from toilet rolls. But once the kids get beyond the crafting and sticking years, it’s all too easy to give up on your collective imagination. But we rekindled ours last weekend and all ended up wondering why we don’t do it more often…

Impossible, horrible, stupid

A trail of discarded cardboard strips leads out to the yard where Cameron sits with scissors and sellotape trying to stick three tennis balls onto a hospital walking stick.

“This is IMPOSSIBLE. It just won’t stick.”

Up on the patio Hannah’s busy weaving scraps of old sofa stuffing onto a chicken wire frame.

“This is HORRIBLE. My hands are all scratched.”

Inside in the dining room Kirstie is breathless, puffing up a sea of balloons.

“This is STUPID. How are we ever going to fix all these to the house?”

Impossible. Horrible. Stupid. Yet no one is giving up; there is magic at work here.

We didn’t plan to spend our day like this. But when an idea takes hold sometimes you just HAVE to follow it through. Imagination is a powerful force. In its grip we become driven, focused, creative. And as we work together, the impossible becomes possible. Help overcomes horrid. We see beyond stupid. And something surprising emerges. As it always does. Just like it always used to.

Carnivals gone by

The products of our collective imagination have taken many forms over the years.

Firing Up The Family Imagination

This is how it happens. We wake up on Bank Holiday Monday with a slight hangover and my sister in law’s children after a late family dinner on Sunday night. Hannah mentions the village carnival. Can they all go and see the parade? My thoughts turn back to the toddler years when we used to make elaborate floats for the procession.

“Remember the year we went as a cycling samba band? And the time we made the bike into a horse and the trailer into the Queen’s carriage for the Jubilee.” I say to Kirstie.

Those were the days; all crafting sticking and bonding. Now they’re mostly bonded to their beds or stuck to their screens.

“What’s this year’s theme?


It’s late in the day, the parade is in just three hours. But still I wonder out loud what we could do on a Disney theme.

“There’s a cloud costume in the attic, the one we made for the Wordsworth video. Could we do anything with a cloud?” I ask no one in particular.

But the kids run with it. We brainstorm cloud movies, until we come up with the idea of using the cloud, a doll’s house and some balloons to recreate the Disney Pixar movie UP. I mean how hard can that be?

Half an hour later Cameron comes down dressed as the old man, Hannah has found an old scouts outfit, I have visited the corner shop and we have begun to make a float from a wheelbarrow, the contents of our old sofa, the doll’s house and a hundred balloons.

It is thoroughly impromptu and very creative work. And a great bonding experience for both families. As we assemble everything in the garden ready for the parade, Hannah brings down a printed sheet she found searching for Up on the internet. It says:

“Imagine all the wonderful things that will never happen if you do not do them”

The power of imagination is one thing. But it is nothing unless you act upon it. So, what are you waiting for?

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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