How far would you go to push your child’s imagination? And how crazy must a parent be to add more work to an already frazzled world?

Refe and Susan Tuma, parents in Kansas City, spend November helping their children believe the toy dinosaurs in their house come to life at night and cause all sorts of ruckus: Scattering cereal on the breakfast table, getting into the bowl of fruit, breaking vases and even writing on the walls.

The results are hilarious, magical and simply fabulous. In an essay on the Web site,, Tuma said they don’t want their kids to “lose their sense of wonder and imagination.”

He is so right on. When today’s parents were small (we’ve all heard this before), life consisted of fort-making and ad­ven­ture-creating, where we could play by ourselves for hours. That’s an easy lifestyle to lose when children are glued to apps, playing video games and watching movies during a 10-minute drive to the grocery store.

But there has been a backlash against other attempts at fantasy play, in particular, “Elf on a Shelf.” (My husband thinks it’s cruel to pretend like Santa has a spy, but isn’t that the whole point of naughty/nice?) It’s the superparents who create doughnuts out of Cheerios for the Elf , or spend time messing up the house only to have to clean it later versus the parents who say that’s too over-the-top.

It’s easy to be cynical. That’s the path I often find myself strolling toward. But embracing something like Dinovember, or creating fairy worlds in your house, or even jumping on the Elf on a Shelf bandwagon, might not only spur our own kids’ imagination. It might also help us parents look up from the status updates, tweets and work e-mails to remember this parenting thing is magical, too.