• Anne

My Imagination Games

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Did you hate playing pretend as a child?

Playing pretend is one of the most iconic examples of the childhood experience (though really, it shouldn’t be culturally limited to child’s play). This is where we share our imaginations with others as we act out other worlds we created.

Unlocking our imaginations

It is amazing what our minds can do. The fact that we are capable of visualizing having blue skin and being on a different planet is nice, but the added ability to share that image from one mind to another is quite impressive. Together, you see it, even though it might not make any sense to the casual observer why you’re punching the air.

This relates well to an analogy I heard in a religious talk once. Imagination is much like music. If someone is wearing a headset and dancing to the music that’s playing, they might look strange and awkward to someone who can’t hear the music. But then when you share that music, either sharing the headset or playing it out loud, you both envelop yourselves in the rhythm and dance together. Nothing feels odd or awkward about it, unless someone sees you through your window and can’t hear the music. But hey, who is having the better time?

Imagination is about hearing the music.

Bonding with people

Honestly, probably one of my most dependable methods of bonding with people has been through imagination. My sisters and I would talk about story ideas, my brothers and I played games of pretend, and even my husband and I often bond over a fictional world and characters we created together.

There is something exciting about the imagination. It can achieve the impossible, mix combinations of thoughts together, and create your own alternate reality that is unique and special to you. Imagining with people connects you on your creative level, which I feel is one of the deeper aspects of human existence.

The games I created

In my time, I’ve created many different imagination games (I tried to put them in chronological order).

  • Islands - Post coming soon!

I think I basically took this game from when my sisters played with us. We played it on the trampoline and the play set. We considered the ground to be water and we stayed on the “islands”, living somewhat regular lives in the arctic. We would hunt, play together, and enjoyed our island life. It was simple, but fun.

  • Fire swamp - Post coming soon!

I have always loved Princess Bride, and my brothers liked it too, so there were many times we would pretend we lived in the fire swamp. Each of us would be the master of one of the three terrors of the fire swamp, and then we would act out living there. I always picked being the master of the ROUS’s (Rodents of Unusual Size). Generally Scott would be the master of the lightning sand and Douglas would be the master of the flame spurts. We could play that game outside all day.

  • Bob and Jenny - Post coming soon!

This is a game I created to entertain Todd in the car while we waited for mom. I generally sat in the passenger’s seat and he sat behind me. As we waited, I held my hands above my headrest like a puppet show and called them Bob and Jenny. They used really silly voices when they talked, which Todd enjoyed. Most of the time they would beat each other up until mom came to the car.

  • Space pirates - Post coming soon!

When I got my license, I could drive my brothers to the park. We had two specific playgrounds that we designated as the castle and the spaceship. There was generally more of a plot to the spaceship games and we went there more often. I was always either the captain or head engineer. My brothers (and sometimes random kids at the park) would play various crew members. We usually went on rescue missions and quests for stolen goods. It was fun.

  • The Eyelash Monster - Post coming soon!

This game evolved from me admiring Todd’s eyelashes to becoming a monster that tried to steal the eyelashes from innocent children. I believe the eyelash monster could also transform into the tickle monster.

This is probably my biggest legacy in my family for the games I created. It all began after we started playing and I smelled peanut butter on Todd. There isn’t enough space here to describe it.

  • Snuggle n’ Lev - Post coming soon!

This also evolved, like the Epic Food Code. My husband and I have a collection of stuffed animals. They started talking to us and eventually we developed their personalities, careers, and a whole world they live in. It’s still a great way to bring a smile to our faces.

You can do it too!

As you see, many of these games came from humble beginnings, but flourished into endless hours of entertainment and bonding. You can make it your own and come up with unique ideas that illustrate your own unique personalities.


Everyone needs inside jokes and imagination games. If you don’t have these, I challenge you to play with an idea. Even if it’s taking something like a movie and imagining an alternate ending, find someone you’re close to and bond with them through imagination.


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