Because many young children have spent so much time in front of the TV, their skills at pretending aren’t very good. They haven’t developed their imagination. But young children can learn to pretend. They can learn how to make objects become pretend things (a block becomes a telephone). They can learn how to pretend to be characters from TV, books, or real-life. They can even learn how to make up their own stories and act them out. Young children should be able to pretend. When young children can pretend, they can learn to take control of their play rather than letting the TV control their play.
Two-year olds have difficulty pretending without using realistic objects and having adult encouragement. However, through suggestions and questioning an adult can help young children develop pretend play. In the example below, the child learns how a rope can become a hose and how a table and chairs can become a fire truck. A two year old can begin to see how fun pretending can be!
Stevie: 1 don ’t have anything to play! Teacher: Why don’t you pretend to be a firefighter like in the book we just read? Stevie: I don ’t know how to be a firefighter. Teacher: Why don ’t you drive your truck? Stevie: 1 don ’t have a truck. Teacher: What could you use for your truck? Stevie: We don ’t have a truck. Stevie and the teacher walk around to find something for a pretend truck. Teacher: What about the chairs and the little table? Could we make them into a truck? Stevie shrugs his shoulders then begins arranging the chairs. Teacher: Great truck, what about a hose? Stevie looks around the room and can’t find a hose Stevie: I can ’tfind a hose. Stevie and the teacher walk around the room looking for something that could be a hose. Finally, they decide on a jump rope.