All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of sofa pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.
And water in the nursery pails;
And Tom said, “Let us also take
An apple and a slice of cake;”—
Which was enough for Tom and me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
So there was no one left but me.
- Stevenson, Robert Louis; A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods. 1913.
Why is imagination important? Imagination activates your brain at higher levels and in different ways than any other avenue. Its importance is multi-faceted – imagination stimulates socialization, emotional awareness, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. In fact, without imagination, these human characteristics would be lost.
Socialization is the lifelong process of discovering one’s own identity and relating to others within a community or group. It is necessary for effective participation in society. Imagination is key to socialization because it allows a “player” in the social experience to comprehend how others might act, thereby understanding what might motivate them. The player can then stretch their imagination to create many responses, weighing each for their perceived value. Socialization is important for children to learn, as it shows them how to communicate with their peers and sets them up for successful communication practices as an adult.
Emotional awareness is a key subset of socialization, but we’ve isolated it here because of its importance. Emotional awareness is your ability to label your own emotions and those of the people around you. Studies show that higher emotional intelligence is linked to a greater sense of imagination. It is this imagination that allows children and adults to ponder the abstract feelings of another. Emotional awareness is vital in helping us regulate our feelings, and children use them to express themselves and to communicate with other children and adults.
Imagination is vital to problem-solving. We are not robots trained to respond to “A” with “B.” Rather, we can brainstorm a large amount of solutions to problems in any field. Creativity is key to both sides of the brain, be it science and mathematics or arts and humanities. Creative play encourages adults and children to try different approaches, leading them to long-term resiliency.
Think of our world’s industry giants – folks like Steve Jobs, Julie Greenbaum, Reshma Saujani and Bill Gates. Each of these leaders has put imagination at the forefront of their company's mission. To them, imagination is a key stepping stone to innovation, and innovation drives success. Without new ideas spurred by imagination, leadership would falter.
Why is imagination important? According to George Bernard Shaw, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”
Imagination is more than just child’s play and more than a tool for those in the arts. It’s a key skill for children and adults in all walks of life. It enables each to reap the benefits of a booming imagination. Teetot answers, "Why is imagination important?" with their extensive line of premium dress-up costumes.