Little Brick Schoolhouse

Quotes on Play, Creativity, and Imagination

“Bricks may make a house, but the laughter of children makes a home.” ~Irish Proverb

“There are all sorts of things embodied in the LEGO brick – geometry and mathematics and truth and proportion and shape and colour … It is a faintly spiritual activity that everybody connects with.” ~James May

“The [LEGO] brick is a universal language. If a kid from China were to meet a kid from Chicago, they don’t have to speak the same language but they could build something together.” ~Richard Stollery, a British LEGO executive

“Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house.” ~Henri Poincare

“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.” ~Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” ~David Brinkley

“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.” ~Lydia M. Child

Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold. ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ~Albert Einstein

The child should leave school with at least a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of his imagination, to say nothing of great buildings, sculpture, beauty of form and colour in things he sees….because imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold. ~Charlotte Mason

If you don’t see what a thing means, you must be looking at it wrong way around. ~Agatha Christie

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. ~Albert Einstein

It is the function of creative men to perceive the relations between thoughts, or things, or forms of expression that may seem utterly different, and to be able to combine them into some new forms—the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. ~William Plomer

One picture is worth more than a thousand words. ~Chinese Proverb

Will our future chemists, geologists, surgeons, farmers, qualified political leaders, engineers, spiritual leaders, etc. be more likely to grow out of the overemphasized athletic arena and fatal addiction to the tube, or will they better find root in a broad, loving base of creative learning by doing between parents and children? ~Bill Mahaffey

The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on the earth, and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them. ~Henry David Thoreau

Creativeness cannot be taught; it can only be released and guided. ~Mauree Applegate

I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas. ~Agatha Christie

I owe more to my ability to fantasize than to any knowledge I’ve ever acquired. ~Albert Einstein

The highest order of men who have lived are those in whom the power of imagination has been the strongest, the most disciplined, and the most elevated. The noblest gifts that have been given to men are the ideas which have proceeded from such minds. It is this order of mind alone that creates. Others may discover, and adapt, and improve, and establish; but it is the imaginative order of mankind that creates, whether it be the majestic steam-engine, or the immortal picture, or the divine poem. ~Harriet Martineau

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things. ~Plato

Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience. ~Henry David Thoreau

Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul. ~Friedrich Fröbel

I like the Montessori method. It teaches through play. It makes learning a pleasure. It follows the natural instincts of the human being . . . The present system casts the brain into a mold. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning. ~Thomas Edison

While imitating their elders in culturally patterned activities, children generate opportunities for intellectual development. Initially, their games are recollections and reenactments of real situations; but through the dynamics of their imagination and recognition of implicit rules governing the activities they have reproduced in their games, children achieve an elementary mastery of abstract thought. ~Lev Vygotsky

Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness, but lead them by what amuses them, so that they may better discover the bent of their minds. ~Plato

A child who plays and works thoroughly, with perseverance, until physical fatigue forbids will surely be a thorough, determined person, capable of self-sacrifice. ~Friedrich Fröbel

Play is a vital learning medium for a child. In a sense play is his work. And he discovers knowledge for himself. ~Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Children’s games are hardly games. Children are never more serious than when they play. ~Michel de Montaigne

Boys and girls must have time to invent episodes, carry on adventures, live heroic lives, lay sieges and carry forts, even if the fortress be an old armchair; and in these affairs the elders must neither meddle nor make. ~Charlotte Mason

Seek the wisdom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child. ~Ron Wild

In all our efforts to provide “advantages” we have actually produced the busiest, most competitive, highly pressured and over-organized generation of youngsters in our history—and possibly the unhappiest. We seem hell-bent on eliminating much of childhood. ~Eda J. LeShan

Most of what we object to as misconduct in children is a natural rebellion against the intrusion of an unimaginative adult despotism in their lives. ~Floyd Dell

Let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then better be able to find out the natural bent of the child. ~Plato

My advice is always to let the interests and the inclinations of the children determine what happens and to give children access to as much of the parents’ lives and the world around them as possible, given your own circumstances, so that children have the widest possible range of things to look at and think about. See which things interest them most, and help them to go down that particular road. ~John Holt

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” ~Maria Montessori

Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children. ~Walt Disney

As worthwhile as trips, classes, activities, clubs, etc. may be, it’s also important to allow your child some time to be, well, a child. Time to plan, dream, reflect, remember, things adults forget they need! Do you remember dreaming? Do you still dream? Give your child the precious gift of a reasonable amount of spare time in this busy, overcommitted world of ours, for it is through remembering and dreaming that old ideas are examined and new ideas are born. These seeds may later bear fruit in wonderful new stories, inventions, or just deeper levels of understanding; building blocks for your child to grow on. ~Janice Baker, Kathleen Julicher, and Maggie Hogan

“In the schools right now there's this culture of test-takers. And they're all stressed...and it's because they're getting ready for the big tests. [My son's] biggest complaint about going from kindergarten to the first grade was no free time. Free time is so important for raising creative problem solvers...healthy kids...We do all kinds of things to keep kids inside the box, instead of trying to get them to think outside the box. They all play soccer, they have to do this, we're scheduling our kids because it's easier to schedule your kids, because you don't feel guilty about them just doing nothing. When really, just doing 'nothing' is probably the best thing for them.” ~Heather Reider

When they learn in their own way and for their own reasons, children learn so much more rapidly and effectively than we could possibly teach them, that we can afford to throw away our curricula and our timetables, and set them free, at least most of the time, to learn on their own. ~John Holt

“If children really want to learn something, and have the opportunity to learn it in use, they do so even if the teaching is poor. For example many learn difficult video games with no professional teaching at all!” ~Seymour Papert

The family should be a place where each new human being can have an early atmosphere conducive to the development of constructive creativity. ~Edith Schaeffer

A creative atmosphere is needed to keep the creative spark growing. Such an atmosphere is no guarantee of a creative child, but great creativity cannot develop without it. A child absorbs as much creativity from creative family living as he does from his own creative endeavors. The environment in which a child lives has a strong influence upon his creative abilities. Thus it might be enlightening to examine the atmosphere within the home setting. ~Author Unknown

The most beautiful thing in the world is, precisely, the conjunction of learning and inspiration. ~Wanda Landowska

It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom….It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. ~Albert Einstein

Discovery consists in seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. ~Author Unknown

There has been much written on the role of reward and punishment in learning, but very little indeed on the role of interest and curiosity and the lure of discovery….Good teachers know the power of this lure. Students should know what it feels like to be completely absorbed in a problem. They seldom experience this feeling in school. ~Jerome Bruner

Kids really want to learn, as long as they don’t feel they’re being taught to, or preached at. If you leave the discovery up to them, they can be like sponges. ~Shari Lewis

All children are gifted children. Each child comes into the world with unique potentials that, if properly nourished, can contribute to the betterment of our world. The biggest challenge for parents and teachers is to remove the roadblocks that keep those gifts from being recognized, celebrated, and nurtured. ~Thomas Armstrong

If the technology distances and distracts, then governments need to take steps to counter that by doing what will help to create a stronger sense of community, a stronger sense of shared purpose. And high tech isn’t necessarily the answer. High touch is also desperately needed. ~John Naisbitt

We’ve been sold a bill of goods – especially parents – about how valuable computer-based experience is…. [M]uch of our learning comes from doing, from making, from feeling with our hands, and though many would like to believe otherwise, the world is not entirely available from a keyboard….Instructors in medical schools find it increasingly difficult to teach how the heart works as a pump…because these students have so little real-world experience – they’ve never siphoned anything, never fixed a car, never worked on a fuel pump, may not even have hooked up a hose. ~Frank Wilson

“The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.” ~Seymour Papert

“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” ~Seymour Papert

“Rather than pushing children to think like adults, we might do better to remember that they are great learners and to try harder to be more like them.” ~Seymour Papert

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