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boring playing!

(22 Posts)
tamburlaine Fri 03-Jun-05 10:29:06

I'm concerned about the way in which my dd, 6, plays. She doesn't appear to absorb any elements of her life into her play and only plays schools and nurseries. Not only do I find this hard to be around as she puts on baby voices for all the "pupils" but I'm worried that she's not incorporating any other elements into her play - her play seems to me to be shallow and boring - she's obsessed, for instance with the form that school takes rather than with any substance. She also frequently complains of not knowing what to do, which I deal with very badly, as I feel I've equipped her very well - both by playing with her a lot when she was younger, and by providing great toys for her. Both DH and I played very imaginatively with her when she was younger, and she has a very rich cultural life - and I wonder why she's not incorporating other elements of her life into her play. Does anyone have any experience with this?

aloha Fri 03-Jun-05 10:33:15

Has this always been the case? I think a lot of six year old girls are obsessed with playing schools (often as very bossy teachers!).
How does she play with her friends? Have the school made any reference to any lack of imagination? What about playing draughts/board games etc?
Playing with small children just is often very boring for adults IMO and there's no point getting cross about it. Just get friends round to play with her! Sometimes I find playing with my ds screamingly dull. And I don't think you can expect children to be either grateful or wildly keen on cultural things or great toys just because we like them. Ds has never shown much interest in toys. Loves playing 'mess up' in his room with friends though. This entails hurling everything onto the floor. Lovely!

aloha Fri 03-Jun-05 10:33:56

And even I vividly remember feeling bored and saying I didn't know what to do. Think this is essential part of childhood!

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 10:34:39

No advice as such sorry but maybe nurseries and schools has been the main thing in her life and what she relates to best - afterall she does attend school for the majority of her day.
Have you asked the teachers how she plays in school?
What elements do you feel she should be absorbing?

suzywong Fri 03-Jun-05 10:35:45

maybe this kind of playing is her downtime from the stimulation she receives

we all do some kind of dreary repetitive thing just to give our brains a break, helps to recharge the batteries

Enid Fri 03-Jun-05 10:38:02

I don't understand what you are getting at.

do you mean it bores you when she plays schools? Do you worry she isn't going to be very intelligent or imaginative?

When you say 'the form that school takes' do you mean registers and things? as this is the bit that dd1 always does when she plays schools and I think it naturally fascinates them.

How does she play with her friends?

Enid Fri 03-Jun-05 10:39:17

do you play with her? From your post it sounds like you are expecting her to get on with it. She's still only little.

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 10:42:54

additionally she will put on baby voices for the pupils as se is the teacher and she knows that teachers have deeper voices and so the only way to make the "children" sound different is to give them younger sounding voices than hers (does that make sense).

I also think you need to look at the play you do with her at home. Its not all about imaginative play - practical play is also good. Have you tried baking? most girls (and boys)love it - so creative for them and something yummy at the end.

aloha Fri 03-Jun-05 10:46:29

Gosh yes, I think it is a lot to ask a six year old to devise wild scenarios alone. Most six year olds do like to sit and draw and will do this alone for a while, but I was alway part of imaginative play with my six year old stepdaughter. And yes, dh and I played schools endlessly. It was pretty dull for us frankly, but we're not six and it's wasn't dull for her.

Enid Fri 03-Jun-05 10:46:31

yes practical things very good at this age, esp if she is a practical kind of girl.

Baking, gardening, looking after a pet, dd1 enjoys simple housework (weird I know ), keeping a scrapbook, making necklaces etc etc

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 10:50:02

ooh yes a pet is a good idea at that age. something like a hamster as the don't live long (about 3 years)but gives the child fun with a sense of responsibility to. She could read about it, love it, feed it, clean it out, play with it, draw it, play vets, take it to school and show the teachers and pupils etc

Enid Fri 03-Jun-05 10:50:45

oh god dont darlingbud dd1 would kill for one, I just cant bear it.

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 10:52:07

go on....they are cheap to buy...its the cage, rolling ball, feeding dish & bottle, sawdust, little plastic house etc that you have fork out for .

Anyway you raised pets not me......na na na na na

Enid Fri 03-Jun-05 10:52:47

don't they bite?

and wriggle and run away and get killed by the cat?

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 10:56:32

not all bite....they handleable (is that a word?). The cat might get them if you let it. They do wriggle though.

OK what about a guinea pig?

suzywong Fri 03-Jun-05 11:04:43

I had two hamsters who made a break for it and spent a presumabley happy autumn of their lives behind the chimney breast, and another long haired one whose testicles were so large they used to drag along the ground and get chaffed. He ended up behind the gas fire too.

And then there were the guinea pigs who had the misfortune to have blowflies lay their eggs on their rear ends. I don't think I should keep pets really

batters Fri 03-Jun-05 11:05:06

I'm not sure what the problem is tbh. She is quite obviously absorbing elements of her life into her play by doing schools and nurseries. Is your little girl bored with her play? Or are you?!

My little girl often asks for ideas of what games to play - she is 7, currently she is really into playing mermaids and cars. It can be boring for me when I join in, but, hey, her listening to me wax lyrical about George Clooney probably isn't her idea of fun either .

If you are playing with your daughter, you could make alternative suggestions, or add stuff on, for instance if you are playing schools together you could suggest that the kids and teacher go on a treasure hunt or a safari or whatever and see how she reacts.

But really I don't think there is a big problem here.

Enid Fri 03-Jun-05 11:09:26

<<sorry thread hijack>>

she would prefer a guinea pig (and so would I)

we saw some lovely long haired ones the other day they were very very cute. Do you have to keep them outside? (i know I know I will check the archives )

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 11:31:05

what do you think tamburlaine?

vesuvius Wed 08-Jun-05 19:03:53

Lawks, I thought this thread hadn't posted, and I
think I come across as a right old monster. I do play with her, of course, and we do loads of stuff - it's just when she plays made up games, it's inevitably schools or nurseries.
I think Suzy is right, I think she's just doing it as downtime - and that's fine. I just remember playing very involved adventure games when I was her age - and I wondered whether it was "normal"
for her never to play them. You know, orphans, swallows and amazons type things - they could last for days. I just think those games are amazing - totally involving, creative, challenging - and they work out a lot of their angst with them as well. Maybe she's too young.

aloha Wed 08-Jun-05 19:23:38

i suspect she is too young tbh. or it just may not be her thingMy stepdaughter is a fab girl but she never went off into worlds like this, she's a more practical soul. Loves books and outings and stuff though. No angst to speak of!

motherinferior Wed 08-Jun-05 19:30:35

I lived a parallel life for weeks at her age - but I wasn't actually very happy (I also was convinced for several weeks that Monsters had eaten my parents and were Living In Their Skins). She sounds lovely. She really does.

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