“Some spend hours lining up toys in a specific way instead of using them for pretend play.”
Right now as I am typing and arranging my thoughts and I can hear my 2-1/2 year old daughter playing with her little yellow hair Rapunzel dollie and her new Lego Cindererella. A minute ago the dolls were having a conversation about what to do and not to argue but play. Now Princess is singing to both of her dolls in front of the dollhouse. This just started happening one day. Princess picks up her dolls and goes over to her playhouse and starts talking to them or have them play with each other. She brings her dollies over to me to show me and have me fix their hair. She sits down beside Grandma, Grandma or Daddy and shows them each and every doll and shares with them the names she has given each one. It makes me smile every single time.
Johnny’s little sister has a dollhouse that she got for Christmas last year from their Grandparents and she was 19 months old. She was interested in the little people and beginning to show interest in placing them around a house or in a car and drive them around. At 18 months old Johnny loved moving his cars around but he didn’t want people in them. When we were in a toy store Johnny would be interested in the toy furniture and how things fit in and the detail of the toy house but that was it. From a very young age Johnny would play with his Fisher Price boat or train but would not place animals or or little people in the vechiles and move them around. He just wanted to roll them around on the floor and maybe after months of mdeling play he would pile blocks in the train cars or place a favourite stuffed animal in the boat and give them ride. Princess is now 2-1/2 and Johnny is nearly 5-1/2 and he watches her play with her doll house every day and have her dolls or little people have pretend conversations. He still likes the doll furniture and moving it around and setting up different rooms and seeing how other things can fit in the dollhouse. He even wanted to ask Santa for bathroom dollhouse furniture for his fire station because the “firemen need a bathroom.” Now when his little sister is playing with the big trucks and cars its Johnny that makes sure there are drivers and passengers.
When it was time to clean up to get ready for bed it was Johnny who searched for the Mommy and Daddy people and make their bed and place them in it.
Johnny also found the little baby and made sure it was in its bed. Princess was a bit upset the first night he did that because it was her dollhouse but we convinced her it was a good thing that she had a helpful big brother who was kind to her toys.
I liked to treat Johnny with a little reward from the dollar store after a great Occupatonal Therapy session and he usually picks colourful Mardi Gras style beads or squishy balls. One day he surprised a friend and me by insisting his choice was these two little baby dolls. “I need baby dolls like Princess.” So Johnny got his own two little baby dolls to look after. Oh and if you look closely at the fire station you can see on the first floor the dolls do have their bathroom furniture from Santa.
So when it came time to putting the toys away Johnny decided that he needed to put his baby dolls to bed. He dug out the two little beds that came with is fire station and put them on it. Something was wrong. Johnny said his babies would be cold at night and he needed to get blankets for them. Mommy had to think quick because I didn’t have any tiny doll blankets so I quickly got these little baby wash cloths and gave them to him so he could improvise. I didn’t know if I would have to show him what do to because he knew they were face cloths but he did. He began pretend play and spent some time making little blanket covered beds for them and then requesting two more “to tuck them in.”
Last night he decided that his finger puppets should get a turn in his fire station turned house bedroom:)