We like Pretend Play in our Home but with a slight twist. The twist is adding real items into the play. I wrote a post on Montessori’s view on Pretend Play the other day. I am conflicted about it but I think I have managed to deal with it well. I mentioned an introduction to Zoology that my Montessori instructor presented to my class to bring home the point that children need real, authentic experiences to develop their brains and to cultivate a sense of awe and wonder of the natural world, especially.
Recently my boys received a lovely Wooden Cash Register from a colleague of mine (also a sponsor of this blog). They were ENTHRALLED to say the very least. Immediately they set out to go grocery shopping. I decided to make this experience a bit more grounded for them. I wanted their brains to understand the different between a REAL red pepper and a, well, plastic red pepper.
I set out several items for them to fill in their baskets including food, toys and books. I took my sticker dots and wrote prices on each of them, trying to be realistic, at least relatively speaking.
They were beyond excited about shopping for real things. I even placed real money in the cash register to ignite their learning and thinking.
I know that Pretend Play is controversial when it comes to Montessori. I think, though, that it requires a bit of education. Children must be grounded figuratively and physically. I love this quote by Dr. Montessori:
“Since it has been seen to be necessary to give so much to the child, let us give him a vision of the whole universe. The universe is an imposing reality and an answer to all questions. We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. This idea helps the mind of the child to become fixed, to stop wandering in an aimless quest for knowledge. He is satisfied, having found the universal centre of himself with all things.” ~ Dr. Montessori
Although this quote is somewhat about connecting children with nature, I do believe it relates directly with ideas around Pretend Play.
What do you think?
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