Too much imaginative play? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
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My 3 yo dd engages in constant imaginative play. She uses her stuffed animals, her fingers as puppets, invisible friends, etc... She has conversations, guides them around, at home, in the car, anywhere. it's that constant.

it's pretty much become background noise ... She will happily include you in the game assigning you a name and a role to play. Often you will call her name and she'll say "no, Im kitty" and you have to call "here kitty kitty". She loves to be a dog and play fetch with her brother.

Its only recently that I stopped to think about how much time she spends playing this way. It's great for me because all she needs is the use of her hands to play for hours having them talk to each other and do things.

is there a point at which it becomes too much? My 5 yo ds has never been this way. He does pretend games - cars with noises, or doctor, or kung fu but nothing like she does. He'll "play" xyz and then it's done.

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#2 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 02:08 AM
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I think it's awesome! Doesn't sound like a problem to me...

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#3 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 02:20 AM
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I don't think it's a problem at all. She's obviously got a very active mind, and is very able to keep herself entertained. Those are great qualities! DD1 had some of those patterns, and ds2 has had others (he's the one who did the "I'm so-and-so, call me X" kind of stuff). They're part of what makes them such neat little people.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 02:28 AM
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Our ds3 who just turned four last month was like this. He would require us to call him 'cheetah' or 'crocodile' or 'draco the dragon' for even months at a time. He started doing it constantly (I mean every minute of every day, 24/7) when he was 18 months old. Prior to that, he'd been steadily building up the hours and characters from 10 months onward.

He was extremely verbal beginning in early infancy, and he is intellectually and physically years ahead of age peers. It is just in the past few months that he has stopped insisting that we call him by his character name. He still role plays all day intermittently and will stay in character for hours at a time, but it isn't constant anymore.

This sort of play-ability cn be a marker for giftedness. The intensity and sophistication of story-telling, attention to detail and ability to express oneself consistently in character- being in someone else's shoes- is an expression of high ability. Some children are gifted in just that way and don't appear to be in other ways. For others, it is one among many expressions of giftedness.

Unless your dd is unable to communicate with other non-role-players in real life (even if she stays in character), as in a sort of psychological quartering, I would be not just not concerned, but fascinated, as I am and was with our ds.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 04:14 AM
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sounds great and totally okay!

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#6 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 04:40 AM
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some kids are v. v. much into imaginative play like your dd and mine (many of the great authors and inventors were like that too) and some are not.

i used it to my advantage and it was a great parenting tool for me.

things my dd wouldnt do her 'friends' would. i did silly pretend characters to amuse her and and divert her so that we kept tantrums to the minimum.

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#7 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 10:19 AM
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I don't think there is any such thing as "too much" imaginative play. But if there is, my dd is in trouble.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 10:23 AM
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I agree, there's no such thing as "too much" imagination.

My son is 6 now, and we are paying lots and lots of money to put him in a private school where almost all that they do is build on imagination!

Imagination, (or said another way, creativity) is a vital life skill that is so important in almost any job you could imagine. If your child is imaginative and creative, she will think outside the box, she will be able to solve challenging problems that others may struggle with. She will creatively be able to handle all of life's challenges.

NURTURE her creativity and imagination! It's amazing that she has such a strong one, and feel proud about this -- it's a serious POSITIVE trait and will serve her well through her whole life.
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#9 of 9 Old 01-04-2010, 10:25 AM
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Doesn't seem like a problem to me either.. Some children tend to involve very much in what ever they do.. At that time their concentration will be fully on what they play..
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