Healthful Mondays: The importance of imaginary play

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Well, yesterday was Halloween, and out daughter didn’t have a clue. But, just like every other parent out there, we scrambled to find a costume that she would actually wear (and not tear off the minute we put it on her) to parade her around while gathering candy we would hide from her and actually end up eating ourselves.

The thing is, Halloween is a big day for dress up. Dressing up is a big part of imaginary play – and imaginary play is a super-big part of growing up. We as adults even do a little dressing up here and there. That power-suite you wear not only looks good, but helps you feel the part, doesn’t it? And, for a child, dressing up gives her budding brain an opportunity to imagine situations other than her own reality and explore problem solving and role-playing.

Due to spending most of the month of October dealing with a sick kid, I was a bit lacking on the costume front. But, I did dig out a doggy jacket that a dear friend had given me as a baby shower gift and some face paint. Within seconds a wee puppy dog had emerged and was ready for a Halloween adventure. We have friends that invited us over to see what would happen when you take a couple of 22-month-olds out on the street to knock on doors asking for candy.

And, what we got was a ton of cuteness! My wee tot tossed out a couple ruff-ruffs here and there – and even found a puppy who wanted to help her be a real dog!

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

As we are getting ready to head out the door this morning, my daughter already has on her doggy jacket and is walking around the house emitting ruff-ruffs at the cat and the hubs.

I’m sure they wont mind a puppy dog a preschool today, right?

Baby phone addict

My adorable child has decided her new favorite-must-have-at-all-times toy is the pretend plastic phone. Just one pretend phone wasn’t good enough, she also has an old-school wall phone, a defunct cell phone and another pretend plastic phone. The real phone is her favorite, and when she finds it, I might not see it for days.

So, how did my child become obsessed with the phone? I couldn’t tell you. I don’t own a cell phone. It is rare that I talk on the phone. When the phone rings, I am a faithful observer of caller ID. Those who know me understand I’m not a big phone chatter and often don’t call loved ones for weeks on end (sorry).

When the phone rings on the television, my child gets one of her pretend phones. When she hears the phone ring at the house, she finds it AND brings it to me. When we are enjoying some imaginary play together, she wants me to pretend I am talking on the phone.

Maybe she is trying to tell me I need to make some phone calls.

Until she is able to speak, my child is super adorable when she is “pretending” to talk on the phone. My fear is the day when words come out of her mouth and she actually wants to talk and talk and talk on the real phone.

I better start saving for the phone bills.