06 August 2010

Imagination

When I was student teaching, we rotated between teachers which station we would serve in each day. I loved to be assigned to the art station, the reading station, and even the science station. But getting stationed in the pretend play area was my least favorite.

I thought it was so boring to play with pretend food, dress up clothes, and dolls. I had to become animated and think of how to scaffold each child's imagination. Professors sat hidden on the other side of the two-way mirrors, scrutinizing every phrase of positive reinforcement that I used with the children. I could have cared less what the children invented, much less get down on my hands and knees and play make-believe with them.

Now that I have a preschool-aged child of my own, his imagination fascinates me. To think that this once helpless little newborn now connects ideas and reality with creativity just blows my mind. I know what I have taught him, and whenever he creates a new concept, game, or activity without my encouragement, I am completely in awe.

I love how pretend play stimulates a child's mind. When Blake is engaged in dramatic play, he can be anyone that he wants and he can do anything that he wants. I love how there are no limits to creativity.

Blake is learning from his real life experiences. He learns from what happens around him, what he sees and hears. To absorb these experiences and make sense of everything, he engages in pretend play.

A recent bout of creativity occurred when I enlisted Blake's help to wash all of our mini-blinds. He started out by helping me scrub the rows and rows of blinds. That got boring even to me after the second set or so, and when I turned around I noticed that Blake was washing all of our cement stairs. He diligently covered every inch of concrete with suds. He related the experience to going through the car wash, where our entire vehicle gets covered with soap. How clever.

Blake has also transformed our entire living room into a tent, which just fascinates me. We have never taught him that putting blankets on furniture creates small crawl spaces for pretending. Now, Blake spends almost every waking moment constructing and reconstructing his tent creations. On his cue, we crawl inside his tents and have pretend picnics with pretend hamburgers and ice cream.  The other day after his nap, I asked him if he wanted to help me make dinner (which he always does), and he responded "No, build a tent!" (I'm not sure why he doesn't have a shirt on here, but I'm loving that farmer's tan.)

Pretending is one of the many ways that Blake learns about life and himself. He imagines what he would do in certain situations and considers a variety of scenarios. I feel as if we are just tapping into the world of pretend play, and I can't wait to see what else his little brain comes up with!


1 comment:

  1. what a sweet picture. What a cutie pie. We got Lucy a little pop-up tent from Ikea, she loves to go in there and be silly.

    ReplyDelete