Because many young children have spent so much time in front
of the TV, their skills at pretending aren’t very good. They
haven’t developed their imagination. But young children can
learn to pretend.
They can learn how to make objects become pretend
things (a block becomes a telephone).
They can learn how to pretend to be characters from
TV, books, or real-life.
They can even learn how to make up their own
stories and act them out.
Young children should be able to pretend. When
young children can pretend, they can learn to take
control of their play rather than letting the TV
control their play.
Two-year olds have difficulty pretending without using realistic
objects and having adult encouragement. However, through
suggestions and questioning an adult can help young children
develop pretend play. In the example below, the child learns how
a rope can become a hose and how a table and chairs can become
a fire truck. A two year old can begin to see how fun pretending
Stevie: 1 don ’t have anything to play!
Teacher: Why don’t you pretend to be a firefighter like in the
book we just read?
Stevie: I don ’t know how to be a firefighter.
Teacher: Why don ’t you drive your truck?
Stevie: 1 don ’t have a truck.
Teacher: What could you use for your truck?
Stevie: We don ’t have a truck.
Stevie and the teacher walk around to find something for a
Teacher: What about the chairs and the little table? Could we
make them into a truck?
Stevie shrugs his shoulders then begins arranging the chairs.
Teacher: Great truck, what about a hose?
Stevie looks around the room and can’t find a hose
Stevie: I can ’tfind a hose.
Stevie and the teacher walk around the room looking for
something that could be a hose. Finally, they decide on a jump