With 16 years’ experience in the childcare industry, Jackie Hewitt understands the importance of children engaging in imaginary play, and knows that by creating positive, open-ended environments that encourage creativity, we allow our children time to use their amazing imaginations and let their minds wander free. Imaginative Thinking offers families and educators creative, practical solutions and open-ended resources for children to ignite their imaginations. Here, Jackie talks about the inspiration behind her business and her exciting plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
The best toys run on the imaginations of a child.
Working as a diploma trained educator within the childcare industry for the past 16 years has taught me that not every child wants to make a duck out of a paper plate.
It has also taught me that children learn from experience: from what happens around them, from what they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. To absorb those experiences and make sense of the world, they need to be engaged in imaginary play.
In a world of constant stimulation, and an overall push towards a market of technology, educational DVDs and programs, television, and other structured academic activities and environments over play based learning, children are beginning to lose their ownership of their natural creative ability, as they are left with only a limited amount of time to develop their imaginations at their own natural pace.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Working within the highly regulated childcare industry for the past 16 years, I have seen many changes, spoken to many parents and educators who all want what is best for children and their young minds, but who are also time poor.
From understanding the importance of imaginative play, Imaginative Thinking was born. My Philosophy is to offer practical solutions, and open-ended resources for children to ignite their imaginations.
Over the past couple of months, I have been creating ideas to bring back some good old-fashioned learning into our children’s lives.
Children are born natural inventors and I want to offer them the resources they need to see if we have the next Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, or Alexander Bell in our midst.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Imaginative Thinking offers a one stop shop and product range, which is different to what is currently out there in the market and is available for purchase by childcare centres as well as families.
Creativity comes from within and by having open ended resources, it gives children the brain food they need to be different and unique, and that feeds their imaginations to become many things … a painter … an architect … an engineer … a scientist … or whatever it is they want to be.