Seedlings: Pretend Play
“Pretend play combines two wondrous and uniquely human characteristics- the capacity for fantasy and capacity for, and need to, make meaning of our experience.”
Susan Linn ( The Case for Make Believe)
Although pretend play is not a tradition in the Montessori classroom there are opportunities for dramatic play and pretending in our classroom as well as the playground. After the recent snowstorm, we invited the children to join in playing with shaving cream at the big table. The teachers passed out farm animals and vehicles. The teachers took turns announcing that a "nor’easter" was coming, made the sounds of wind and then began spra[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1026" style='position:absolute;margin-left:76pt;margin-top:13pt; width:422.45pt;height:286.85pt;z-index:251657728;mso-wrap-distance-left:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-top:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-right:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-bottom:12pt;mso-position-horizontal:absolute; mso-position-horizontal-relative:page;mso-position-vertical:absolute; mso-position-vertical-relative:page' coordsize="21600,21600" wrapcoords="-38 0 -38 21543 21600 21543 21600 0 -38 0" strokeweight="1pt"> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\PINEGC~1\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg" o:title=""></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="through" anchorx="page" anchory="page"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif]ying the shaving cream.
After a few minutes we refreshed the "snow" and gave the next forecast. Temperatures were about to drop and there was a forecast for ice. Glitter was then sprinkled down. Later on the playground children were using dump trucks for plowing and removing snow. We often see children reenact events that they have experienced in their lives. For example we see shopping, ordering pizza and planning meals as part of pretend play in the cabin and kitchen outside.
Pretend play is beneficial to young children in a variety of ways. Dramatic activities help to build vocabulary, provide opportunities for creative problem solving and offer opportunities for sharing and taking turns.