We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it… These familiar flowers, these well-remembered bird-notes, this sky, with its fitful brightness, these furrowed and grassy fields, each with a sort of personality given to it by the capricious hedgerows,–such things as these are the mother-tongue of our imagination, the language that is laden with all the subtle, inextricable associations the fleeting hours of our childhood left behind them. Our delight in the sunshine on the deep-bladed grass to-day might be no more than the faint perception of wearied souls, if it were not for the sunshine and the grass in the far-off years which still live in us, and transform our perception into love.
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
The Imaginarium is a club designed to help children enrich their imagination in the natural world.
The latest edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary has replaced the words acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell and buttercup with attachment, block-graph, bullet-point and committee. Children have never been as alienated from the natural world as they are today. They are therefore without a relationship that has given joy and succour to generations before them – a relationship that has never been more necessary than in today’s culture of instant gratification and screen addiction.
A relationship with nature is easy to foster and, once begun, continues to ripen. For those who have, more will be given! It is also self-evidently one of the most fruitful inspirations for the growth of a child’s imagination.
The Imaginarium will start as a week-long summer club helping children to engage with nature, make local friends, get to know their local nature reserves, and use their imaginations.
The club will be spread over 4 days, and consist of the following themes:
- Flowers and trees
- Animals and wildlife
- Rivers, ponds and streams
- The sky, sun and stars
The means of engaging with these themes will be literature, art, architecture, music, play, wonder and attention to nature. It will be taught by inspiring teachers who have spent a lifetime getting to know the natural world, and who want to pass on their knowledge and love.
The course will take place at the Holland Park Ecology Centre
How much? Age? Entry Requirements?
09.30 – 15.00.
Intended for 9-11 yr olds (Years 4-6).
Group size will be limited, and attendance subject to interview.
For more information and to book, visit Chelsea Young Writers here: www.chelseayoungwriters.co.uk/creative-writing/holiday-programmes/the-imaginarium-club/