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Early imagination, anyone?

1070 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ellemenope
I have been taken aback by my DD's imagination and pretend play at such a young age. She has been pretend feeding her animals with her sippy and cherrios, pretending to bite mommy with a play snake, pouring imaginative liquids, changing her baby's diaper, pretending to be a dog, playing kitchen, choo choo-ing her train, hopping her wooden bunny, etc. She has been doing most of these things for months, some since before she turned 1. She seems to pretend with so much intensity.

I can't find what is normal imaginative play for her age, but I haven't come accross anyone IRL near her age doing these things yet.

I am interested in when you kids sprouted such imagination, and if you thought or noticed them to be ahead of there peers in pretend play.

just curious.
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I think my second child was more imaginative at a younger age because he was accustomed to playing make-believe with his big sister. I'd say around 18 months he was into pretending to be different animals, etc. and initiating this on his own (rather than just copying his sister).
My daughter used to enact little stories and conflicts with her hands in her high chair at one. She'd stop when everyone would start to stare, particularly if one was pinning the other. When she was a little older she explained that they were her 'air dragons'. LOL
She has always had a huge imagination and a tendency to live in her own head. She's 11 now and a great writer!
I read something a while back about 2 year olds doing imitative play (like feeding animals and mowing the lawn) and 4 year olds doing imaginative play (coming up with scenes and stories that are brand new--to them--and more in depth.)

Sounds like she is doing imitative play, not imaginative--but certainly early. DS started imitative play shortly after 1 and now, at almost 3 is starting on imaginative--telling pretty original good stories even. Months ago he was really into recreating the stories from his books--seemed more in depth than imitative (20+ minutes and the whole plot line), but not original yet--maybe a transition between the two?

Anyway, its fun, enjoy it!
DD started this really early (at 8 months). At the time she would put her dolls to sleep, feed them, etc. Now at a year she does quite a bit. She can play with her dollhouse for 15-20 minutes on her own. She has a stuffed animal that she puts clothes on, puts on the potty, talks to, sleeps with, talks for it (says animal sounds), gives to me to nurse. Pretty much everything we do with her. If you look at the Denver II milestones:
25% of kids will feed a doll by the time they are 15 months. So yeah, doing that before a year is early.
Most things I've read talks about 'true' pretend at 3 years of age.

Imitative pretend occurs much earlier.

Pretend with props, I've read differing views on it, but if someone is pretending a stick is a plane, I'd consider that more in line with real pretend.

The imitative play you've described is still occurring very early.

Pretending to be a dog... I assume you mean getting down on all 4's and barking? That I would consider to be true pretend, even if it is at a very basic level, and I would consider to be highly early.

How very fun! My dd2 was like this. We saw another big pretend jump around 16 months. Lots of pretend with props, that would enact scenarios... think of 5-7 year old girls playing polly pockets or dolls. By the time she was a bit over two, she would enact very complex pretend scenarios with her sister.

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At 2.25 my guy first said "you pretend to be babysitter?" to me when I had dyed my hair (to the same color at the babysitters, naturally). He got SUPER into imaginative play by 2.5 -- one day we were all the Berestein bear characters *pretending* to be different Thomas the Train characters. Man, I kept messing up how Mama Bear would be Mavis!! At 3.75 he's still very into pretend. Currently the whole family is a pack of lions -- Daddy is at a coffee shop, but DS says he is out defending our territory?!
This is an area where DD was really early, too, and it has been and continues to be so much fun! I hadn't heard much about imitative vs. imaginative, very interesting.

I think we visited my mom's house where she has a day care and DD saw older kids playing (we usually do friends at the park so not the same kind of play as much), and after that, DD was pretending to put her babies to sleep and sing to them, cuddling/babywearing them, making them walk around, etc... I know it started before she could walk so it must have been around a year?

Before long it was making dollhouse dolls live out little lives and animals playing and etc... objects being turned into other things for play, etc. I know she played intensely with the play kitchen at 1.5. A little bit later we got out the playmobil nativity scene and she went bananas making them live little lives and have circle time and go to the bookstore
I don't remember when it progressed to pure imagination, but we basically can spend all day now (2.75) playing with her little people or kitchen or whatever, going to Disneyland, going on adventures, having storytime, just making up stories.

Anyway, I think that does sound early. Have fun!
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Yes, I do love this age. My life has vastly gotten easier. She just entertains herself. (Everyone has been telling me that this is when things get real difficult, with tantrums, etc. I have not seen that yet. Possibly because we can communicate better?? Maybe because she was a very very very high needs infant???)

I never thought of there being a difference between imitative play and imaginative play. That was an 'aha' moment.

For example, I remember at 13 or 14 months, DH put her animals' faces into the part of the rug that was blue and made a slurping noise. She has been doing that ever since. That was definately imitative.

However, lately she has been pretending that this large plastic lego base is a boat. She sits on it and says 'boat' and pulls up the sides around her and rocks back and forth saying 'whoah'. Then when she tips over its 'uh-oh'. She can do that for about 10 minutes. I don't know where she got that one. We have very little exposier to boats.

I can't wait for talking hands and such.

Oh, and the chart was very informative, thanks. I really enjoyed that.
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