Written by Sophie Hodgson

“Mummy, there is a puppet making workshop. Please say you’ll come, plllleeeeaassse.”

Now let me be clear, I am not a sewing genius. Far from it. I tell my daughter when a button falls off or a toy rips, that Nanny likes sewing them back together, therefore the kind thing to do is to wait for her to visit. But she knows its because I am worried I will sew my fingers together.

Anyway, I digress. I can never turn down puppy dog eyes and so today I duly attended the puppet work shop. Turns out making puppets is part of the design and technology component of the curriculum. Each child has designed a puppet from a traditional tale and today they’re going to make it.

“Mummy, mine is Thumbelina – but when she gets married.”

I go a shade paler.

But then the teacher explains today we’re just sewing the hand puppets; on Friday they’ll add the finishing touches. And after we’ve done the sewing puppet we have a whole host of other puppets – finger puppets, on stick puppets, spoon puppets and Pinocchio himself.

The kids are told to go for it – and go for it they do. Glitter flies everywhere, lace is tied in pretty bows to make puppets ‘look fancy,’ wool is woven into hair and pipe-cleaners form the basis of arms, legs, belts and necklaces.

But from this sparkle-infused chaos came puppet after puppet, all unique in its own (very special) way. It reminded me how differently children think. To them there is no impossible, the only barrier is how many sparkly items the school has procured for the activity and the outcome is the result of their best asset – their imagination.

And whether you’re a start-up, in PR, a data scientist, a developer, or a CEO, using our imagination is something we could all benefit from doing a little more. Because that’s when things get interesting, disrupted and compelling.

So in 2018 I’m going to embrace my inner (and surprisingly good) puppet maker. Imagination isn’t just about creativity – it’s about precision, execution, determination and drive. My daughter might have gone to school today; but I was the one who learnt the lesson.

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