We have had a lot of fun pretending to be in the city visiting all the different shops and people! The buildings the children made were so creative – we had a post office and a grocery store, a ballet studio, a purse shop, a shoe store, a pet shop (full of small stuffed pets), some high rise apartment buildings (one with people looking out each open window), a train station, and even a KINDERMUSIK building (I want a real one of those)! One girl even brought in a full city scape, with roads AND cars.
I must say, I am very impressed at the dedication you parents show in supporting your child in these activities. Your child recognizes this support, and is so proud to present something like this to the class. Your support is key to their success; and their self-esteem, as well as their development, grows by leaps and bounds for each of these activities.
Each of their additions to our city were key elements to bring our walk around the city alive in their imaginations. They were so engaged in this activity that they were verbally adding many of their own creative ideas, and there was very little off task behaviors.
Carla Hannaford, noted neurophysiologist and educator, explains why make-believe (pretend play) is so important.
“The value of make-believe cannot be stressed enough. The child can take its world, and through play and familiarity organize it into more and more complex mental and emotional patterns. The time from ages two to five is a crucial stage for children’s cognitive development as they learn to process information and expand it into creativity. Interactive communication and play, when children are learning from each other’s imagination, accelerates the process.” *Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head, by Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., p. 64.
One mom mentioned this week that with this program’s focus on pretend play, it has helped her daughter more effectively play by herself – not requiring mom’s attention nearly as often. She is having fun building her own city and interacting with the characters in her imagination. YES !!!