Pretend Play

Our kids have the best imaginations.  It amazing what they can imagine and how their pretend play is exploding recently.  I love imaginative play, so this stage is so exciting to me.  Anybody who knew me as a child knows I had a very active imagination.  I had imaginary friends when I was a toddler and even in Elementary school I still pretended to be a secretary or car hop or whatever, all the time.  Now that my kids are hitting this phase, I can’t get enough of it.

Yesterday I realized that my boys spent the entire afternoon pretending something.  Part of the time they were building train tracks and cities for their cars and had all kinds of goings on in their towns.  Then they moved on to the play kitchen where they cooked and served each other for at least an hour.  Susannah got G a wooden birthday cake that you can decorate with different toppings and a candle and can be cut into slices.  The boys have played with it every single day, taking turns singing Happy Birthday to each other or the dog or one of us.  They love to serve you cake and tell you all about saving a piece for you. 

Then there is the sports they play all day.  They are often playing hockey in the living room.  But, it isn’t just shooting a ball or puck back and forth.  The game starts with the National Anthem sung by one or the other of them, complete with pre-song announcement of the anthem and the singer who is always Bob McDonald who sings the National Anthem often at Caps games.  Once they sing then there is the announcement of the players.  Jack is always “Nuuuuummmmbbber 8 Allllleeeexxxx OoooooVechkin” and G is whoever Jack feels like making him.  Yesterday, for example, Garrett had to be Brian Pothier.  Often Jack makes him Alexander Semin.  Right now G doesn’t care what player he is, he just wants to shoot the puck.  Soon though, he will care and I can hear the arguments already!  Once the period begins they shoot, they score, they high-five everyone they can find, they announce their goals.  Sometimes Mom calls penalties and everyone gets upset.  Then they have the end of the period where they have to get snacks.  And then it starts all over again.  They are so detailed!

The other favorite game is that there is a monster chasing them or coming to get them.  This one cracks me up because G plays this a lot by himself.  If Jack is at school or still sleeping when G wakes up from nap, then he is almost sure to play the monster game by himself.  The funny thing is that he will run in wherever I am working in the house with a big story in 2-year-old speak of broken sentences of how the monster is chasing him.  He tells me about the roar of the monster.  He wants me to save him.  Then he gives me a big laugh and runs off.  It is adorable.

And of course, every toy or object in the house is surely something else.  The gas station that belongs to the parking garage is the microphone.  The broom is a golf club.  The play fruit from the kitchen is a ball.  Every item has a pretend identity.  I love this!  They are so creative.  I do everything I can to foster this creativity and encourage them to never be confined by what something is supposed to be.  Their ideas are way more interesting than any of the intended uses of the objects they find!

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