Media and other materials needed
Personal ideas or experiences to share
Leading question: When does castle building become morbid escapism? Certainly for children, castle building is an adventure, but somehow as we grow up, castle building can become inhibiting.
Objectives: Have fun! Do something adventurous and imaginative to experience the wonder of Miranda in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, when she says, “O brave new world, that has such people in it!” Let children be delighted by their discoveries and adventures.
Duration: Segments of time over several days
Media and other materials needed:
• Peter Pan (James Barrie), and perhaps some clips from various film versions
• Any adventure or imaginative film will do, really. A few ideas: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jason and the Argonauts, Dr. Doolittle, Around the World in Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth
• Dress-up clothes, boys, big boxes, etc.
1. Read Peter Pan aloud over the course of a few days. Let kids enjoy it (that means don’t get too preachy about it), but talk about growing up and how Wendy is content that she grows up, and Peter loses his memory by stopping all his progress.
2. Watch an adventure film (or two) one evening in the week.
3. Play with your kids for several hours an imaginative game. Yes, this means dressing up and building forts out of blankets or creating worlds with toys and dolls. Have imaginary adventures—castle-build with your kids. Remember how much fun it was when after asking dozens of times, “Will you play with me?” your mom and dad actually did!
Personal ideas or experiences to share:
• Favorite imagination games as a kid; remember…
…playing pioneers and living in a tent in the front yard eating hard tack you made from a pioneer recipe.
…building a Starship Enterprise (with old computers and all) in your friend’s basement and going through the universe at warp speed.
…being princesses, dressing up in big gowns and having a tea party.
…making boats out of couch cushions and going down the Congo.
…being Indiana Jones and finding the Holy Grail or Ark of the Covenant.
…being Anne of Green Gables and giving somewhat poetic names to the beautiful places in your neighborhood.
…running an imaginary business.
…writing and producing a play on an imaginary Broadway.
• Real life adventures—not just imaginary games, but exciting things in your own life, like going to Petra where they filmed Indiana Jones, riding a horse down the canyon, or backpacking around Europe with friends in college.
• Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves readings and films
• As mentioned before, there are hundreds of exciting films for this topic.
• Putting on a play or puppet show and letting kids either write the script or use a fairy tale or fable. Have them create sets, scenery, costumes, etc.
• If your kids are older, you could really change this from an adventure-focused experience to a growing-up and leaving castle-building kind of experience. Peter Pan works well for this, too.