My granddaughter, 26 months, is a delight. Her EG mother was mostly easy to raise and is doing really well as an adult, working, studying (she never stopped) and enjoying motherhood, so I am pretty much sitting back and enjoying the ride as a grandmother. I do look at this website to see what kind of schooling for gifted children is available in other countries (here there is very little, sigh) and I enjoy reading about all your amazing children.
DGD is very social but has enjoyed the company of her cousin, 5, most of all, and he has just started school, has less free time, new activities and new friends. Today she said, "Jack doesn't miss me any more," which made me sad for her. She does have other friends but they are nearer her age and only starting to play simple games. She has a very new brother too and loves him to bits but he is hardly a playmate yet. DGD started talking at seven months and has not stopped since. Talking and making up stories are very important to her so any child that doesn't talk well is dismissed as a baby.
One activity that has developed over the last six months is playing with little dolls and animals of various kinds, all named. At my place she has a FP farm, dolls' house, zoo, bus and plane, all bought at op shops. Recently she has developed a passion for dinosaurs and they are now added to the mix.. She prefers to play with these alone and it has become her favourite activity, at her own home as well. She can play happily for hours, chatting away in different voices. . She becomes totally absorbed. It can be very hard to get her to move on to another activity or even to stop for a snack. Generally we get her out in the morning, to kindergym, playdates, art and crafts, parks, swimming and try to leave the figurine play till later in the day. Books are now for first thing in the morning and for at least an hour at bedtime whereas before they were all day!
I would love to hear from others who have children like this. Did they let other children in on the play? How long did this kind of play last?
I think imaginative play is definitely good. My son was a little bit like that at your granddaughters age, but he was all about cars. By 2 and a half he could identify around 100 cars on the road and would drive his toy cars around and have people getting in and out and going to stores and such. He started a Montessori preschool when he was 2 years and 8 months and the teacher had me concerned, because she really didn't like his imaginative play at all. He would be supposed to build a tower and instead he would drive around the blocks. I was completely torn on how to handle this, because I didn't want to discourage his fantasy play, but at the same time, I wanted him to behave as expected at school. I eventually just told him that I loved that he was so good at pretending and that he could do that at home all he wanted, but that for the 3 hours he was at school he needed to do his work the way his teacher wanted (which in a Montessori preschool is things like pouring or stringing beads). Now he's 4, still at the same preschool, still engaging in hours of fantasy play at home, and at the last parent-teacher conference the teacher told me she had nothing negative to say about my son and that he was "head and shoulders" above the other kids his age. This is drastically different from what she was telling me last year ("he's devolving into fantasy", "he is unable to stay focused on his work", "he's not stacking at an age-appropriate level", etc.). It makes me glad I didn't discourage his imaginative play despite her recommendations.
Interestingly, my daughter is only 23 months old and has remarkably complicated imaginative play for her age, which I know she's picked up from watching her older brother. Makes me happy.
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Thank you for your responses, FarmerMomma and Researchparent, I was interested to hear your experiences of Montessori, Researchparent, as my granddaughter will be attending a Montessori parent and child session once a week soon until she is accepted into a community kindy at three years of age. I am glad your son is doing well at school and is managing to keep his imagination alive too. I am impressed as I could not name more than twenty kinds of cars! Your little girl sounds great. Shame we do not live closer. I live at sea level in Australia.
I laughed reading about your son and the blocks. A few days ago DGD decided to use a new set of plastic beads shaped like various animals for threading a necklace. She soon became distracted. She sorted them but started playing with them and making up a story. I just left her to it. Then I saw her tip a glass of water into the container of turtles. "They need to stay moist," she said! Montessori, here she comes!
I am happy to announce she has found a friend her age to have fun with, This little girl talks well and enjoys the beach, playing circuses and hide and seek. The new baby has encouraged baby doll play but they both prefer the real baby! Luckily he is very easy going and even smiles at them. The imaginative play with her little people is still very important but there is more variety to her days. It is getting (slightly) cooler after a hot, hot summer and Mum and the baby, now four weeks old, get about a lot more.
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