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How important is imaginative/pretend play in a just 2 year old who shows little sign of interest in it so far?

(27 Posts)
Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 09:42:38

His taste for playing is much more riding toys, pushing toys, building and taking apart stuff, blocks/duplo in towers. If you guide him towards imagining stuff, pretending to push the broom, playing telephones, playing rockets in a big box, whatever, he just walks away. Doesn't get it at all and doesn't want to.

How do I gently introduce the concept of imagination to such a straight-minded literal boy? Can anyone give me some good games to try without putting him off completely?

Or should I just embrace the engineer/builder I seem to have and accept that maybe this is his idea of imagination?

Sparklingbroomstick Wed 31-Oct-12 09:45:53

My two were exactly the same Pascha. they didn't do much 'playing shops' or pretending to do real life stuff/dressing up etc. The only exception was DS2 had a toy KFC counter and he played that for a bit. grin

Lego, stickle bricks, painting, being outside, driving the Little Tikes car was where it was at. It was fine. I think they both avoided the 'home corner' at preschool too.

13 and 10 now and all good. smile

Sparklingbroomstick Wed 31-Oct-12 09:46:33

The imagination certainly comes out in their creative writing now too. grin

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 09:56:46

That makes me feel better Sparkling. He is positively repelled by the craft table at playgroup, the toy kitchen, dressing up box, all of that. Likes things with wheels, and ways of propelling them (by gravity if available to him hmm) likes running round like a loony with other kids, chasing them, likes taking stuff apart and trying to recreate it, puzzles, logical stuff.

Runningblue Wed 31-Oct-12 09:59:45

All of a sudden ds - aged 3.5 - is really quite into imaginative play. I think they'll only do it when they fancy/are ready.. I think you're doing just the right thing as youre being open to it, and he will show you he's interested when he's ready...

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 10:03:54

We are playing destruction derby on the kitchen table with two cars pitted against each other head on right now, but if I stop for a moment to type he starts lining them up instead. Doesn't take the idea and try it by himself.

Sparklingbroomstick Wed 31-Oct-12 10:37:09

Ooh the lining up. My two loved doing that. grin

Sounds like he will love Top Gear in a few years.

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 10:43:28

Probably. His face when we go to watch daddy racing his car is a sight. Cant get enough of all the cars and the noise on track, he constantly drags us to the fence to watch.

A total petrolhead in the making.

Sparklingbroomstick Wed 31-Oct-12 11:43:35

I have two Pascha. We have to go to classic car shows and banger racing, and museums with dead cars in. They love it. grin I am learning to. grin

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 11:47:47

Oh god Banger Racing. Nooooooooo.

Mollydoggerson Wed 31-Oct-12 11:53:50

I think he is possibly a year or so too young for him to really get into imaginative play.

Mine are 3 and 4 and basically play imaginative play all day long. They love to pretend to be animals, and they make up stories (usually robbed from cartoon storylines). They love if I make up a story when we go to bed rather than read from a book. Usually I will read one story and then make up another. The one I make up is always about a mammy and a daddy and two little boys and of course they love that, riding horses and pulling carriages with mammy and daddy inside, meeting up with friends in the park who are doing the same things. They embellish the stories and love telling varients of them.

FireOverBabylon Wed 31-Oct-12 11:59:27

I think what you've described is common for loads of boys. Our nursery put out a request for dressing up clothes and I gave them a whole bag full of stuff that I'd put aside for DS that he had absolutely no interest in.

He's now nearly 3.3 and starting to talk whilst he's driving cars, so the imagination thing is starting but I don't think he's ever going to be big into imaginative "let's pretend to be wizards" type play. TBH, having seen another little boy at DS's nursery turn up in an iron man type costume, I'd rather have a DS who just liked cars than one who had to be wrestled out of fancy dress outfits. It's a much easier life. grin

iseenodust Wed 31-Oct-12 12:39:44

DS avoided creative play and dressing up through nursery, preschool and reception. Playmobil was ignored. Lego only good for tallest tower. Oh but the lining up of cars along with everything else such as dinosaurs. It would go round the room, up the stairs and round his bedroom. This went on for years. Now it's football.

pivoprosim Wed 31-Oct-12 12:48:15

Are you worried about bigger issues to do with his lack of pretend play/imagination - or just that you'd like him to enjoy it more?

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 12:49:32

grin The Happyland farmhouse has been turned into a through tunnel for the trainset. The poor animals and farmer rudely tossed aside never to be seen again...

The cars are neatly lined up on the carmat, the ride on stuff neatly lined up behind them. At least he knows the carmat is for vehicles.

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 12:50:51

piv he has very little speech yet, so I suppose I'm trying to see if anything else is a bit behind or if its all within the range of normal.

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 12:54:18

One of the questions asked at his SL assessment last month was whether he did imaginative play at all, and I couldn't think of any real instances.

pivoprosim Wed 31-Oct-12 12:55:57

But isn't using the farmhouse as a tunnel for trains imaginative? Using something for another purpose?

pivoprosim Wed 31-Oct-12 12:57:35

Have you introduced pretend food/kitchen at all? Does he take an interest in that?

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 12:57:40

He didn't do it. I did. He watched and then pushed the trains through after I showed him.

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 12:58:57

Play kitchen at playgroup completely ignored. Will walk away.

pivoprosim Wed 31-Oct-12 13:03:02

He'll get there...he's young. And I do think boys have a lot of interest in cars, toys etc that girls don't have. I hate being gender specific, but there's truth in it.
But I don't think my DS is overly imaginative at all. I would like to see more, although he does love the pretend kitchen. But I don't really think any of this stuff is particularly imaginative yet. Were you given examples of what sort of imaginative play you could expect to see?

Pascha Wed 31-Oct-12 13:14:16

Thank you. He is very very very boy, no doubt about that. I feel better for hearing other boys can be similar.

The examples she offered were using my phone to call daddy or offer me a plate of pretend food or try to feed me with his spoon. (No, no and no). It wasn't a big thing and she moved on but it stuck with me and I've noticed much younger toddlers than him doing all of those things unprompted.

pivoprosim Wed 31-Oct-12 13:27:34

You'll drive yourself crazy if you compare him. I say that without judgement as I'm similar. Everything I've worried about...he's proven me wrong. But in his own time. He's done lots of things later than his peers...and then suddenly I realise he's actually started to do things ahead of time.

Anecdotally; I'm one of five children. According to my mum, I showed the least imagination. But I loved books and puzzles and doing my own thing. I am now a painter, and my business is built on my imagination. Another sister didn't speak until she was 3. I kid you not. Now, she speaks so much and so fast, we can't speak up. And the brother who dressed up and drove everyone mad with his 'stories' - he's an accountant grin

pivoprosim Wed 31-Oct-12 13:28:17

We can't keep up with sister...not speak up...sorry! On phone

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