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What is Pretend Play?

Authentic, real experiences are critical for children. One of my Montessori instructors at MEIPN opened a session with an exercise she coined “Abstract Orange” to emphasize the importance of authentic, concrete experiences for children and their developing brains.

{Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

{Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

She said: “We are adults with the ability to think abstractly so imagine you are holding a ripe orange. Tell me what words you might use to describe the orange.”

We immediately began shouting our words like:
Orange
Juicy
Bumpy
Sweet
Sour
Wet
Moist
Bright
Round
Juicy
Pulpy
Stringy
Fleshy
Refreshing

Then she said, “Imagine a plastic orange used for play.”

Orange
Juicy
Bumpy
Sweet
Sour
Wet
Moist
Bright
Round
Juicy
Pulpy
Stringy
Fleshy
Refreshing

Then she showed us an image of an orange:

orange

Orange
Juicy
Bumpy
Sweet
Sour
Wet
Moist
Bright
Round
Juicy
Pulpy
Stringy
Fleshy
Refreshing

Then she showed us an illustration of an orange:

illustrationorange

Orange
Juicy
Bumpy
Sweet
Sour
Wet
Moist
Bright
Round
Juicy
Pulpy
Stringy
Fleshy
Refreshing

You get the point. This exercise is really meant to make a point with educators and parents. I suppose you could also do the exercise with older children. I hope you enjoyed this exercise. I will post the second part of this series tomorrow.

Warmly,
Marnie

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