« Lapbooks, life skills, Montessori, and special needs | Main | more on imagination and fantasy »

September 24, 2006


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Rebecca B.

Interesting post Kim. Regarding the Dubovoy article, I am so convicted on this issue because I do see the negative effects of television on little ones, perpetuating fantasy even when the tv is off. I always claim to be against tv but most days it is on for an hour. My oldest did not watch tv until he was three but the others have sat in on shows earlier. I fail miserably in this area. I think that you would have to have no tv at all because it would be difficult to allow the older kids to watch it but the littles to be occupied otherwise.

My children do have a love for work. I have trouble gaining cooperation for the menial jobs, though. Everyone is willing to repair the fence with a hammer and nails but no one want to sweep the floors.

I have encouraged imaginative play, (even in the little ones) for many years, supplying them with costumes, props, etc. for dress up. We also play with little figures, setting up elaborate scenes of army men, doll house figurines or storybook characters, making block houses and forts. I just cannot imagine not playing with toys or no imaginative play before age six.

My kids act out things they hear, mainly from books rather than tv. How would you discourage them from doing so? Would you? I just can't imagine being able to do it. In theory I could but it would be difficult in reality.

Thanks for addressing this topic. I will look forward to any more thoughts.


I attended a conference awhile back on this topic--it was presented along the lines of creativity vs. imitation. One of the main points that I was able to grasp a little better after the conference was that so much of a child's "imaginative play" is imitative--acting out characters on TV, etc.

Case in point--I had a student OBSESSED with Disney's Little Mermaid--she sang the songs and talked about the characters if they were real. One day I asked her if she'd like to look at the Ocean cards I had available. Sure enough, she was learning "real" things about the ocean in no time at all and she was a happier child because of it.

I don't think it's a cut and dry issue, after all, who doesn't enjoy a little escapism now and then? But I think the point is to make available a lot of interesting, grounded in reality types of experiences available to young children.


I have to say, I've never heard of or considered these ideas (creative vs imaginative play) before. Could someone point me in the direction of some basic information about these ideas? I know little about Montessori methods, other than they generally like miniature tools and learning games, but I am interested in learning more. I have four children, ages 9 to 6 months, and one in particular (the three year old) almost never plays with toys. Her older sisters by this age were deep into the world of dolls and princesses and would sit for hours with each other or alone (and still do, but with more squabbling). Until now, I felt badly that something was lacking in her imagination, but maybe instead her play-needs are different? Perhaps there is even a link between the older two spending their earlier years in an apartment versus the three year old knowing only the greater freedoms of a house with a large yard? I have been stymied as to why she hasn't been the same as the older two, but maybe now I can get some ideas on work/play that will interest her. She is very "tactile" and likes being read to, but would rather color on the wall than on paper. She can handle painting with watercolors, but only for about ten or fifteen minutes before getting mischevious and splattering water everywyere, etc. Any ideas would be welcome.

LeeAnn in Lake Stevens, WA

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