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Pretend play 2year old assessment

(29 Posts)
Anotherbook Sat 09-Aug-08 23:14:34

I am having ds 2 year development assessment next week and was thinking about pretend play.I do have some concerns about his sudden desire to line things up/tidy up for which I previously posted but am now thinking about his imaginary play.

This is what he does do :

Drives cars saying brum,brum and trains saying toot toot and crash when then do so.

Gets a pretend snake and runs around chasing you with it saying ssss.

He hoovers using his toy hoover when I do so - likewise brushing.

He likes digging in the garden and will copy me weeding.When we mow the lawn he follows pushing his pram like a mower.

He washes his dolls hair in the bath (although we did initiate this originally saying shall we wash the doll's hair? and doing so).He isn't really interested in dolls otherwise.

He does animal noises when he gets out different animals to play in his farm.

He will put figures into vehicles such as bob the builder into lofty before rolling them around.

He isn't that keen on his cooker - just seems to tip the food over the floor then put it into pans although I have heard him say 'eat' unprompted when getting the food out.If I say 'are you going to stir the food?' he will give it a quick stir but not elaborate on this.Doesn't feed his teddy or set up a party or anything like this.

If I say make me a cup of tea.He always pours a cup of tea then takes the lid off the teapot and puts it in his mouth and runs around chewing it or on another cup in the set despite me telling him not to.Can you tell I am worrying about the make me a cup of tea test?

He is great at copying ball sports his sister is playing such as tennis,cricket,football and golf - does this count as pretend play or should I be concentrating on looking at is he copying real life things such as the cooking?

Really what I am asking is what I should be looking for?

I think his imaginary play as far as the cooker is much worse than his 2 year old friends although he has been playing with it a bit more recently and sang 'happy birthday' - badly! while playing with a pretend cake after he saw another child doing this.Also put bob the builder in the pretend microwave!

I am interested to know what I should be answering to does he do pretend play?

Twinklemegan Sat 09-Aug-08 23:17:08

What 2 year development assessment? Is this a standard thing? My DS hasn't had any assessment since he was 8 months old.

From your examples I'd say definitely yes.

RambleOn Sat 09-Aug-08 23:21:14

You've listed at least 10 examples of his pretend play surely?

Can't help thinking that you're looking for something to worry about wink

Anotherbook Sat 09-Aug-08 23:21:57

HV assessment.

Standard in our area and fairly thorough with I think some of the CHAT autism test included which is what I am thinking about as far as the imaginary play question.

Twinklemegan Sat 09-Aug-08 23:22:44

I remember seeing your thread about lining things up - I meant to click to read it and then got distracted by something else.

FWIW, my 2 year old started lining things up about 2 months ago - mostly his building blocks and his toy cars. He also enjoys helping to tidy things up. Obviously I haven't read your other thread yet so I don't know if that's what you're meaning.

But all I can say is that I have absolutely no concerns about DS, and if I hadn't read about autism indicators I would never have given it a second thought. Even so I haven't given it a third thought. I really hope you have no need to worry. Certainly from the examples you give here he sounds like a perfectly normal 2 year old. smile

Twinklemegan Sat 09-Aug-08 23:24:21

Hmmm. I'm going to start a thread to ask about HV assessments I think. We moved to Scotland 11 months ago and have found the HV service to be completely shite. I get the impression that they have no interest in DS whatsover. We know they have no reason to worry, but they don't know that!

wrinklytum Sat 09-Aug-08 23:25:49

Anotherbook,that sounds perfectly normal and definitely pretend/imitative play for a 2 yo.>(My DD has severe developmental issues and does very little of the above)

objectivity Sat 09-Aug-08 23:26:38

Can I be really rude but hopefully really helpful...

You are worrying massively and probably making him feel out of control hence the controlling behaviour exhibiting (lining up toys).

He needs to use play for explore his world, deal with emotions, try out feelings, deal with fears. When you tell him not to do this with the teapot lid or that with the microwave you are PREVENTING all that is learned through play and all the opportunities play prevents for him to deal with the big scary ole world.

Please stop being so anxious that you wind up controlling him.

I'm sorry to be soblunt but I couldn'tnot comment.

Anotherbook Sat 09-Aug-08 23:29:48

I am worrying.I agree.

Does imaginary play have to be self initiated or can it be taught like the washing the doll's hair?

He does do things but doesn't elaborate on them in more imaginary play such as doing something else with the doll.The other 2 year olds seem to be doing this.

I am overanalysing things I know but feel it is important I am clear with the HV next week because of my other concerns.He is a bit hopeless at making a cup of tea as well which I know he will be asked to do to assess his pretend play.

objectivity Sat 09-Aug-08 23:35:26

Maybe we are talking two different things?

Role play is re-enactment of things like cookign food,washing dolly, etc.

Imaginary play is sometimes part of role play but is really anything that comes from the imagination - so whether that be expressed through speech or action - it is a free flowing non-directed thing.

He is doing all those things, and possibly has a pretty decent imagination - something's gotta being going on in his little funny creative head to put Bob in the microwave, yes?

I think the over-worrying from you could be more of a concern.If he senses all this from you he will exhibit more and more anxiety rooted behaviour. Enjoy him.

Anotherbook Sat 09-Aug-08 23:35:39

Objectivity, you are not rude.I agree.Really.

I am lovely really and he is allowed to play (except the mad teapot thing!).

I think he just loves lining up.We were at a party today and he gathered up all the older childrens fruit shoot bottles on the table and lined them up!

wrinklytum Sat 09-Aug-08 23:44:25

I don't know if this will help Anotherbook but here are some of the things dd does that are" atypical"if it helps.

She will spend a long time looking at her reflection in lots of different surfaces 9ie mirror/tv screen switched off/oven door/window)
She will spend ages opening and shutting doors swinging off the handles
She spends ages looking at her shadow
She does lots of random "flapping and clapping"
She will play with her dollies but only do stuff with instructions ie you have to etell her to brush dollies hair/give dolly a bottle
She cannot do even simple jigsaws
She can stack 4 blocks with a lot of help
She will endlessly turn the taps on in the bath.

These are just a few examples

Twinklemegan Sat 09-Aug-08 23:46:26

When I read that lining up can be an autism indicator I was amazed. My hunch is that it would ONLY be considered alongside other much more significant indicators. You DS is probably going to have a nice organised, logical mind - maybe he'll be a mathematician or something? I'm hoping for DS's sake that it means he won't inherit my cluttered, scatterbrain head!

Twinklemegan Sat 09-Aug-08 23:51:27

Also, I fail to see the difference between stacking things horizontally (ie lining up) and stacking things vertically, which is supposed to be a good thing.

Again, wrinklytum, your examples show that you can't just pick something in isolation. Clearly for your DD all these things are significant in the context of her. On the other hand, I could answer yes to a couple of those with my DS but I'd be taking them completely out of context. I think if anyone starts looking for abnormal behaviour they just cause themselves a whole load of strife.

Anotherbook Sat 09-Aug-08 23:52:32


Thankyou for your post.I have put this more into perspective after reading your list.He doesn't do any of the atypical things you list.

I must appear very much as objectivity says to you.Sorry.

Anotherbook Sat 09-Aug-08 23:55:07

My dh said the same thing about the stacking! Ds is very good at both vertical and horizontal.Will go on and on with both.

objectivity Sat 09-Aug-08 23:55:17

Oh Anotherbook! We all worry, all we're trying to show you is that you needn't. Be aware,of course,but don't worry yourself silly over it

You come across fine.Just keep the perspective you hopefully gain from here.

wrinklytum Sun 10-Aug-08 00:08:29

Anotherbook,I wasn't trying to make you feel bad blush,I hope it did not come across like that,I was just trying to set your mind at rest that your little one sounds to be doing a lot of things that are normal and age appropriate and not to stress undulyNo one thinks you are silly,we all worry about our children xxx

wrinklytum Sun 10-Aug-08 00:14:42

Twinklemegan yes,I agree re your last post.I was just trying to think of a few things dd did that were definitely out of synch and these were the first that cropped up in my mind,there are lots of others,and I agree they should all be taken 9in context.I probably wasn't explaining myself vrey well.blush

Debra1981 Sun 10-Aug-08 00:20:28

ok my dd is 2.2, no sign of hv assessment for the last year +, she does most of the 'atypical' things listed by wrinklytum but i don't spend much time with other 2yos to compare her and as yet i've not really had any concerns with her.. she chats fairly constantly, normally uses one recognisable word in every sentence, can carry out simple instructions but seems to understand but ignore more complex ones. should i have contacted hv because she cant do jigsaws, likes her own reflection and doesnt like playing mummy to her dollies? she doesnt do most of the stuff described by Anotherbook, but she does like playing with her kitchen (quite realistically imho). she also likes 'walking' her dolls or toy animals around the floor of the room, with commentary, character voices/noises or (wordless) singing. We're in Shropshire. Should I be worried? Sorry to hijack!

wrinklytum Sun 10-Aug-08 00:28:14

Oh DEBRA,mine wasn't meant to be a comprehensive list!!I must add to this that dd has severe motor and speech delay too,she cannot walk unaided and has littlewrecognisable speech.Her "atypical" behaviours need to be taken in this context too.i.e she would open/shut doors for an hour at a time constantly if I let her,her play is in no way imaginative.(Wrinkly sincerely wishes she hadn't posted and wrried loads of mumsnetters now!)Debra she sounds lovely and normal,shes a little 2 IYKWIM..(My dd is nearly 3 btw)

Debra1981 Sun 10-Aug-08 01:00:14

wrinklytum dont be sorry! thanks for your input! I think it's just generally a bit of a worrysome age, especially when some of us dont have professional input unless asked. As i said I wasn't really worried, and from what I've seen nor should Anotherbook be. I tend to think that when something is seriously amiss with your child, you will pick it up, help or no help, even if you can't pinpoint the problem. There's always that niggly doubt though that I think all parents are cursed with!

Dynamicnanny Sun 10-Aug-08 11:06:12

2 year old development

They begin to play simple pretend games.

Their fantasy play is very short and simple. It does not involve others.

They sometimes do the opposite of what is asked.

They like to imitate the behavior of adults and others. They want to help with household tasks.

They become frustrated easily.

They refuse help.

They still need security.

They imitate animal sounds.

They begin to include a second person in pretend play

They use objects to represent other objects

They still have a very limited attention span.

mrz Sun 10-Aug-08 11:33:55

As I said on your other thread lining up/stacking objects is a normal stage of development called a schema. This particular one is often called Trajectory; and can be diagonal/ vertical/ horizontal
A child may gaze at your face, drop things from their cot, make arcs in their spilt food with their hand, play with the running water
in the bathroom, climb up and jump off furniture, line up the cars, bounce and kick balls, throw all normal activities.

coppertop Sun 10-Aug-08 11:56:02

If you are worried about autism I can give you an idea of what pretend play was like for ds1 and ds2 when they were around that age. Both have autism:

Ds1 barely touched toys unless it was to repeatedly push the buttons on his toy phone or his phonics bus. At his assessment he was handed a plastic tea cup and told "Give teddy a drink". He turned the cup upside down, put it on the bear's head and wandered off.

Ds2 used to lie down on the floor and push a Brum car back and forth while he looked at the different angles. He could copy a game but couldn't build on it in any way, so if shown how to give teddy a drink he would do that over and over but not try anything else.

Neither of them were ever really into lining things up. Neither of them could make animal noises.

We still have the same toy phone. Whereas my 2 boys would only press the buttons repeatedly, dd (NT and 2.5yrs) will hold the receiver to her ear and pretend to phone her dad at work and have a conversation with him.

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