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Starfish Are Scary: The Lasting Value of Making Things
Submitted by skastrul on 2012-10-24T20:18:23
A few months ago we had some folks over at our house. Tiffany brought her son, Cameron (one of my favorite little guys in the world). Cameron was the only kid in the house, which is not a problem because I have a lot of learning toys designed to spark the imagination and creativity. But I don’t have any computer games.
I have this beautiful ceramic starfish. I said, “Look Cameron, this is a starfish.”
His response was, “Ahh!!!”
He got very scared and shy, and didn’t want to come close to me. I thought maybe he thought it was alive. I explained that it wasn’t.
He said, “No, starfish is scary,” and refused to interact with it.
I turned to his mom with a puzzled look on my face. She said, “He’s scared because it doesn’t have any batteries.”
It’s Time to Unplug our Kids
What happened to our ability to play with children and explore all the realms of our imagination? We’re in trouble. The fact that Cameron would be scared of something that didn’t have a plug or a battery means that our kids are consuming the fruits of somebody else’s imagination. Long gone are the days when we would turn our beds into big ships and sail the ocean as pirates, with the sheet waving in the breeze.
I took the time to talk with Cameron about the starfish. I explained where they came from. I asked him how he thought the starfish felt, and also how the starfish made him feel.
The Starfish Song
We ended up writing a little song together called “Starfish is Scary.” It’s a great song. Since that visit, every time I see him we sing it together. He says it’s his favorite song.
There’s something really powerful about that. Something that he wrote is now his favorite song. There’s a level of pride, imagination and creativity in this, something that is lasting. What we create, or what we make has significantly more value than what we take. This is a lesson that Cameron and I learned together.
“Starfish Song” by Cameron