Playing Pretend

Since Sonja has turned four I’ve noticed a major increase in her imagination. She loves to make up scenarios and characters wherever we are. If we go to the park we’re in a dark and scary forest. If we’re in the car we’re really in a rocket ship that goes really fast. And then there are the multiple personalities, names and traits she makes up about each of her stuffed animals.


We’ve been home a lot lately as we wait for baby number two and Sonja has really started to make up some fun stuff. She has taken to lining up all the chairs and the piano bench in our living room for her stuffed animals to watch “the show.” Then each chair gets a stuffed animal. The baby stuffed animals get strapped into a booster seat. And each animal gets two pieces of play fruit to eat as a snack during “the show.” (I always feel bad for the animal that ends up with the onion and the garlic.)

This whole production probably takes upwards of an hour to get it just the way Sonja wants it. When everyone is finally situated how she wants them she will ask us to turn on a movie. The current favorite is The Little Mermaid. She claims that “her friends” just love that show.

When we play outside she really enjoys Frisbee and baseball with her little bat lately. But after a couple of hits or throws she starts making up rules and boundaries and turning it into way more than a game of catch should really be.

I am loving this stage. Up until now she’s always been a very inquisitive kid. (I think that all kids are, I don’t think she’s terribly unique.) She’s always loved learning new words and asking her daddy how and why things work the way they do. I’m guessing it’s an age thing? That until now her little brain was just figuring some stuff out about the world and now it’s full of all kinds of knowledge it can expand into make believe. (I do not read parenting books. That is one hundred percent my own theory.)

The part that really makes us laugh is she seems to enjoy the preparation more than the actual play. She will run up and down the stairs fifty times to get the right stuffed animal and the right play food. And she will run in and out of the house to get just the right ball to play catch with. I think she gets more pleasure out of the planning than the actual game.

Kevin and I know we let her watch too much TV and we probably don’t read enough books but her imagination seems to be on fire lately despite our laziness. I hope it continues and she actually figures out how to turn my Honda into a rocket ship someday.

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