Children love to pretend. Do you remember?
Recently a mom told me the story of her almost 3-year-old little guy who woke up in a particularly cranky mood, determined to bake cookies for breakfast. Well – that wasn’t going to happen (and never had). But before he could throw a huge fit (he did wake up cranky, remember), his mom made a good suggestion.
“You could make pretend cookies though.”
All was fine – better than fine as he ran to get the “Joy of Cooking” cookbook, pretended to find his “go-to” recipe, put his regular finger- food- breakfast (cheese, nuts, fruit, veggies} by measuring spoons into a muffin tin, “baked” it in a cold oven for two minutes, and then remembered to remove it using a hot pad for sure.
Even his mom agreed it was so much fun.
Of course, we can’t avoid every meltdown by “pretending”, but keeping in mind and appreciating the value of pretend play can make long days with young children more positive – for everyone.
There’s a quote by famous psychologist Vygotsky that says “In play a child stands taller than himself.”
I love that image – and have seen it happen. For hands-on, self-directed play offers children a sense of freedom, of assimilation of what they’ve observed in their everyday life, of connection, satisfaction, and accomplishment.
That’s why I love The Parenting Place’s Children’s Festival so much, where open-ended materials are offered at every turn for a child to create his/her play – to “stand taller than himself”.
The Parenting Place Children’s Festival – where play happens – Saturday, August 26th, 9-12 PM at Myrick Park (9:00 AM Dumping of the Dirt). Buttons are for sale at The Parenting Place and Peoples’ Food Coop. $4 a button; 3 for $10; $5 a button the day of the festival. Scholarship buttons are available by giving us a call at 784-8125.
Wear play clothes – for sure!
Hope to see you there!