One of the books Finn got for his birthday was Unplugged Play by Bobbi Conner. I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what is inside, but already it has been wonderful. I’m tempted to say that if you get invited to a kid’s birthday party, just get this book and everyone will think you are a super-awesome-parent-guru.
Finn, at age 3, is just getting into imaginative play, where he can pretend things are going on with his toys. Today, for example, when he was supposed to be taking a nap, he said to me, “Let’s play pretend that we have wheels. These are our wheels, ok?” and he held up his two hands in kind of a “C” shape. Then he crawled around in a circle for a few minutes and made car noises. The leap from the plain-old-world-before-imagination to the world after it arrives is almost as great a leap to me as the one that happened with language, between signing for “milk” and being able to tell me what he wanted for breakfast. I just can’t believe what I get to see when he opens up about what is going on inside his head. And I’m sure the game where his hands are wheels will become old hat in a matter of weeks, so that is kind of why I’m recording it here. I will probably not remember it a year from now.
The first game we found in Unplugged Play was #157: “Kitchen Table Fort.” I threw an old bed sheet over the kitchen table and we pretended it was a tent. We also got out some dishes in case we wanted to pretend we were camping (we did not, as it turned out). We read books in the tent and had some snacks in there.
And then this happened: Donovan pretended to take a nap in the tent.
So maybe the pretend play has been going on longer than I think.