Teach Children to Pretend

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
30 Jan 2013

Anecdote: Inflexibility

After reading a lullaby (poem) to her class, the teacher wanted to bring out the best of the poem. She decided to act out and animate the message that the poem was trying to convey. She picked up the little, light-weighted kids to model the mother’s character in the poem. One of the students got so upset and had tears in her eyes by the sight of this scene. Everybody else was laughing and having fun and even asking for a turn to be next.

When I asked this student about the reason for her to be so upset, she said that the class is not for babies, babies cannot be in school. When I tried to explain that we are playing a game, pretending that the mother is singing a lullaby to her baby she was adamant about her position.

The teacher did a great job picking up the students to continue pretending the mother’s role in the poem. But this particular student couldn’t even look at action taking place before her. She turned her head away and refused to particiapate.

During recess I had to talk to her and convince her that pretending is just a game that cannot really end up changing us into anything we are trying to pretend to be.


Intensify this activity at home and school to train kids to be more flexible and to develop their imagination, perspective taking, and empathy.

Pretending is a very important activity that participates in the development and growth processes in children. Typically developed children naturally practice pretending while playing. It is simply part of their growing and maturing process that we should encourage.

nadia shanab

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