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How can I enjoy playing more??? - Page 2

post #21 of 24

i love imaginative play, myself.  but, what about dominoes/ matching games, puzzles?  those are age appropriate and can be done at a table.

some ideas for you might be to do like other posters said and act out stuff from books - they make some animals that go with books that i've seen..

it's easy (esp since you're crafty) to make shadow puppets for that or just copied pictures from the books, too, maybe mounted on straws or popsicle sticks?

with book characters, you can go off- script, but some of the "hard" work is done- you are already acquainted with what the character is like, and the situation is sort of set. 

also, what about something like a dollhouse?  it might take some time, but if you have a collection of dolls / animals to go with it, i think if your kid can first develop the personality of the doll/animal, then the rest of the imaginative play might come more easily.  and you can help elaborate on that.  and the dollhouse can be at a short table for you to sit at comfortably!  it just sounds to me like your kid needs help getting started, and hopefully once it gets established you can step away while the play continues...

i wouldn't worry about the sibling guilt.  as a kid i was basically self-immersed in imaginary play b/c there was nobody for me to play with (my parents wouldn't) and i think i am much better for it- that's the thing with imaginary play: nobody else is needed.  you can just make other people up if you need to!!! no limits to an imagination.


or music like pianojazzgirl said-- maybe act out the music somehow?  one of my favorite things as a kid was the hansel and gretel opera- i loved to act it out... and peter and the wolf?  or even the soundtrack to mary poppins or whatever...

post #22 of 24

I'm a mathematical builder sort myself.  My imagination is quite capable of running away with itself, but I can't seem to take a child with me.  Not my talent.  You said don't say, "Let the guilt go."  But really, you have to decide that it is okay to be who you are.  That you are already molding your ds by your actions...and that's okay.  In 30 years, he still won't know what to do with a stuffed cow.  Part of it is his genetics (yours!) and part of it is that you don't do it with him.


That said, if dd hadn't been my first, I would have been really worried about her.  She still has things that concern me at times, but with enough coaching, she'll be fine.  She was so...non-interactive...as a little person.  It was like she wanted it to be that way, but couldn't or wouldn't or something.  Some of it (she's 6 now) turned out to be her opinions.  I was doing it wrong, but she couldn't explain to me what to do when she was that little.  Some of it was her mimicking me.  I was always picking up, and she was, too.  We couldn't play with stuff because she wanted it in the bag where it belonged.  And some of it was just her, she just doesn't think that way either.  Now that I have another dd, I am amazed at the conversation and the imagination, and the ideas.  Dd2 doesn't need me at all.  Is it because she's watched the older kids so much?  Or was dd1 really that different?


Anyway, with dd1, I would build stuff out of her toys for her, or do science experiemnts, or do practical jokes with her.  Also, when she got a little bigger, I was able to see that she really did need a lot more help seeing what to do with stuff.  She's very much a rule follower.  Whatever is said once (or happens once), is HOW it IS.  She just doesn't think outside of the box.  So, I would pick up a toy, and say, "This is a whatever. Most people like to do x with it, but some do y.  Or maybe z.  It would be okay if you wanted to do a, b, or c with it.  Or maybe there is something else you'd like to do with it.  That's what it's for."  That sort of conversation helped her a lot.


And, helping her to see the kind of person she is helped, too.  Like at the part where I would say, "Most people do x with it."  I might say, "But, remember.  You are your own person and are very special.  You like to do g and f, so maybe you would like to use this for one of those things.  That might be dd1's way of using it."



post #23 of 24


Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Ahh music is a good idea, if he'll let me (sometimes he won't). We need to play more games, too, he does like board games & card games & puzzles but I keep forgetting about them...
He'll be 3 in a couple of months.
So about the weird playing... When he wants to play he'll ask me to come play with him and then he'll go sit in the living room (aka the playroom). I come join him and then he just sits there. Sometimes he'll pick up a toy or something, and then just wait. I guess he is waiting for me to direct the play, but I have no clue what to do with it. So say he has a toy cow... I might start making cow noises or try to talk to the cow. He might respond briefly, then we just sit there again. It's like pulling teeth, whereas when I play with one of his friends, she will take off from something simple and continue a pretend conversation or make up scenerios. Or say DS wants to play with cars. He'll pick up a car and drive it around for a minute... then just sits and waits. Even if I drive around my own car, it just kind of fizzles out after a minute or so. I really don't know what he wants from me. He is finally playing a bit on his own occasionally, even up to 5 minutes on his own, and when he does he usually either lines up all his toys, throws everything all over the room, or re-enacts something from real life or a book or a friend's play scenario that he observed. So I guess the thing is, he doesn't really use his imagination -- yeah, he does imaginary play, but it's just repeating stuff he's seen, rarely anything he created in his own mind, and I guess sometimes he just runs out of scenes to play out... and I'm not at all good at providing new ones. So maybe that's what I need help with most, coming up with entertaining scenarios for the toys (entertaining for both of us!!)

It sounds to me like he might be having trouble being able to do symbolic play for very long. He's young (not quite 3), and this is an age where you'll see lots of variation in imaginative play, and where the difference between 'almost 3' and 3 1/2 can be huge. I'll also add: He appears to me to be hard work to play with because his play isn't typical. Most kids, when they're ready to do imaginary play, will take a suggestion or two and then extend them. He's not doing that. I don't know if that's a "he's not doing that yet" or "he's not able to do that yet because..." It sounds like he's got the basics of communication and play, but isn't moving to the next step.


One thing my children loved was acting out parts of their day. Actually at this age, our son did two types of imaginative play: recreating parts of his day + pretending to drive a garbage truck. He didn't want a lot of different scripts. He wanted the consistency and rhythm. He needed to process his world through play. (He's still doing this -- he's 10 and condescended to play stuffed animals with his  younger sister. His younger sister had the idea that there was going to be a Christmas ball in animal world, and the animals all needed someone to go to the dance with and they needed to learn to dance. Ds's stuffed penguin suddenly became very interested in one of the bears because the penguin had a crush on her. Uh oh, I think we're moving into the "I might like girls" stage.)


If you can't find scripts that way, try taking some small stories from books.


Finally, you might want to read up on Stanley Greenspan's Floortime Model. Don't freak out because it's aimed at children with autism -- there's a lot of good stuff in there about helping children extend their play in ways that is safe and comfortable for them. It's got really good instructions for the parents on how to play. Since that doesn't come naturally, I'm thinking the instructions for the parents might help you.


post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the ideas & book suggestions!! We'll keep working on it, as much as I can tolerate that is... wink1.gif Maybe he does just need another year or so...
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