Kids Imaginary Journeys – New Year’s Word #9: J for Journey

What fun with kids imaginary journeys! Today’s new year’s resolution word goes on a journey with children’s author and Storytime Pup creator, Bill McManus. This is an on-line interview with Bill about both real and imaginative journeys. No need to pack, come enjoy the trip.


To start, I’d like to ask: What journeys did you take as a child in your imagination?

I grew up with 4 sisters and we were very close, especially with my sister MaryBeth and I.  My favorite memory was when we turned two saw horses in the basement into motorcycles.  Old blankets became the seats and a piece of Hot Wheels track was slid in place to be the handlebars.  We rode those motorcycles cross country.  We visited old ghost towns, forests, deserts and ended up on the beaches of California.

All five of us rode trains, horses, planes and even spaceships.  We were in the circus, road the open plains and even went to the moon.  All without leaving our own backyard.  All thanks to our active imaginations.

“How did that lead you to being an “author, entrepreneur, inventor and actor?”

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up.  So, our best “toys” were our imaginations.  The best “toy” you could ever have.  We learned to use and expand our imaginations to keep ourselves occupied.  I believe the use of our imaginations led us all to become quite creative.  My first children’s book “Doran’s Doorway Adventures” is born of the imagination.   I had a basic concept for a story and I just let my imagination take over.  I simply wrote down the story as it unfolded in my imagination.  I have dozens of books sitting in the back of my mind.


Invention is another form of imagination.  You look at a problem and let your imagination think outside the box to solve the problem.  You let your imagination run wild, without analyzing any ideas as they present themselves.  You just capture the ideas as they come and then look at the feasibility or the “how to”  afterwards.

Acting is just pretending.  You determine your character and just pretend to be them.

For some practical words of wisdom, parenting is a journey of discovery. As a parent of 3 kids, how do you take your kids on both real and imaginative journeys?

We spend as much quality family time as we can.  Trips to festivals, small towns, exploring the outdoors – anything and everything.  I began fostering imaginative play in my children early on.  From pretending to be on safari while camping in the backyard to Olympic sporting events in the pool.

What do you think is most important about kids experiencing new places?

There is a whole world of wonder out there.  Things can be so different from not only one country to another, but from one state or even one town to another.  There is so much to learn about people and things through experience.  You can only grow and experience so much in your own back yard.  You have to go out and experience life.  Go to parks, concerts and festivals.  Try new places, new foods and meet new people.  Life is all about experiences and what better way that with your children.

Anything else you would like to include?

Using ones imagination is so important.  Not just in childhood, but through your entire life.  Books help open one’s imagination.  Storytime Pup is a good tool to begin to expose children to the joys of reading  I hope to expand the imagination exercises on the Storytime Pup channel to teach children how fun it can be to just pretend.

Here’s the url for the Storytime Pup Channel:

Thank you, Bill. What fun to take this on-line journey.
And you, what kinds of kids imaginary journeys and real ones do you and your child take?



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