My daughter is at that age where she has really started to embrace her imagination. I see her playing with toys in such a creative way and am glad that she can now entertain herself more than she has in the past, but she still needs us to entertain her or be her playmates a fair amount of the time. I often don't mind, but it can also be so exhausting.
From the moment she got home with her new cars she has asked us to 'play Mater'. It's a tiring endeavor as it has required a lot of physical activity, including crawling around on my knees on the hardwood floor, and pretending to be something I am not - an animated tow truck. My body is not made for that. And I'm not sure my mind is either.
Imagination. I'm no good at it.
I try my hardest by using the best Mater accent I have while my husband laughs at me from the other room. I try to think of stuff Mater would say, but after a comment or two I am down to nothing. It's pretty sad.
My husband is better at this than I, but I know it's exhausting for him too. I can't put the imagination type play all on him - partly because he deserves a break, but because I want to be able to play too. I want to have fun with my kid and I want her to think of me as someone she has fun with.
I was talking with a friend recently about this topic and she shared that she's never been good at this even as a kid. Art class was torture for her when she was young, and when she had a child of her own? She struggled through that too. She shared "if someone told me exactly what to do I could do it", but if she had to think of stuff on her own she was totally lost.
I tried Googling for help on this, but no matter how I phrased my search it basically brought me to articles about how to help my child be more creative. And in those articles it said to 'play pretend' with your child, but not HOW to do so.
I've always thought of myself as a somewhat creative person. I have no problem with coming up with art projects (even if the internet is often the inspiration), but I was never an 'actor' so to speak. I've had friends go to improve classes to bring this side out of them, but let's face it - there is a slim chance that I will do that.
|Mater and Holley with a bunch of my brother's cars from when he was a kid... and a transformer car that Riley thinks is Lighting McQueen.|
So I am trying to embrace my creative side (as small as it is sometimes) as best I can, but in the end I realize that what my kid cares about is if I will "play Mater" or not. It's not so much about how imaginative I am after all. I mean, I once said (as Mater, of course) "I like your tires", and now she says it all the time. She doesn't care that it's a totally lame comment. She just loves that I'm there... playing with her. And I do too.
Now if I could just perfect my Mater accent so my husband stops laughing at me.
Does anyone else struggle with pretend play? What do you do to embrace this time with your kid?