Fleur pretends children hide from their parents on the roof of the dollhouse. The big one up to her chest. The Little People one up to her knee.
Pretty consistently this is a piece of the pretend routine. I definitely need to keep the ladder locked up.
My mother has a story about me a younger age than her climbing the ladder on to the roof while my father wasn’t looking. He went inside for water for just a minute and found me almost up on the roof. He shouted for me, so I got all the way up it.
I wonder if that is something passed down in the epigenetics? Probably.
Working in information technology, I deal with contingency and complexity. Nested if conditionals and then outcomes.
In preschool play, things are far more fluid. The world building is intricately complex and mysterious. I ask a lot of questions meriting, “are you not paying attention,” responses. There seems to borrow from real life, fandoms, and random tangents.
For instance, the current game:
Fleur is Elsa. I am Anna. From Frozen.
Olaf and Sven are dead because a dinosaur stepped on them.
Various dolls are our kids. (A girl, a cow, a rabbit, and a lamb.)
We flew on a plane to Costa Rica. This came from asking if her teacher told her about her trip there.
From the outside, IT probably looks this arbitrary and eclectic. But, I promise we know what we are doing.
The study involved daily 15-minute play sessions across five weeks, in which a research assistant led 39 children aged three to five through a fantastical script, such as going to the moon. After the five week period, the pretend play kids showed greater gains in their ability to memorise lists of digits (a classic test of working memory, itself a core component of executive function) as compared with 32 age-matched children in a standard play condition, who spent their sessions singing songs and passing a ball around a circle.
The pretend play group also showed a bigger improvement on an executive function attention-shift task, which involved switching from sorting blocks by colour to shape. This result squeaked through thanks to the standard-play group’s scores actually creeping down over time as the pretend group scores crept up, but note that on its own terms, the pre-to-post change in pretend group performance wasn’t itself statistically significant. On a third executive function measure – “inhibition of responses” (children had to follow a tricky instruction to label a nighttime scene as day, and a daytime scene as night) – there was no effect of the pretend play.
I am enjoying this playful period where Fleur tells me stories. Getting more into this kind of play excites me. It is what I remember doing a lot of as a child. And even as a teenager, I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, even being a Dungeon Master most of the time for one group of friends.