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If you have duct tape, play cars, and imagination then you’re ready to build your own duct tape city for hours of pretend play — at any age!
“What if you took some duct tape and made roads for your cars?” I suggested this weekend.
That was approximately 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
The girls used all sorts of colorful duct tape to make roads for their cars on our carpet. (You may remember that we’ve permanently moved our furniture to the edges of the room. This is why.)
At about 9:30 a.m. I asked another question, “Do your cars need a parking lot? What about shops?”
Shops were added. A parking lot was built. More roads. A gas pump of red pipe cleaners, too.
At noon, I got out stickers and our recycle box. “I wonder what else we could make? Do we need a park? What about a lake out of this bubble wrap?”
The girls played straight through until bedtime 8 p.m. – with elaborate pretend scenarios, homes under the recliners, parents and children, even construction happened.
All I did was facilitate – asking simple questions and getting them started with new ideas to add on. I made a very tippy slide which I hope the girls will perfect with better recycled materials. Today is day three and the girls are still playing cars on their duct tape city!
Russian, Lev Vygotsky, introduced the world to scaffolding and mature, brain-boosting pretend play.He asserts that play lasts longer and is richer when an adult facilitates the use of props, introduces vocabulary (median, one-way street, mechanic,) and models play scenarios.”You be the mayor of the city, and I’ll be a construction worker fixing this road that has a pot-hole.” You can help sustain the play by encouraging planning (How about a park?) and roles (Who is your guy?) and new concepts (I think a median is that big part in the middle of the road that’s cement or grass. Do you have any medians in your city?). (I love Vygotsky.)
A friend of AJ’s walked in and said, “My mom would never let me do this.“
Whether or not that’s true in there case is not important. What is important is it made me want to challenge you with this last thought: Will you be the kind of parent or caregiver that would let your child’s imaginative play take over your living room?
Because play is way more important than having the perfect house.