As a child I was into playing “real life”. I played house, had babies. I specifically remember that in the summertime I would get upo in the morning, iron “my kids” clothing, pack their diaper bags and take them to daycare so that I could go to work. “Work” was being a teacher. I had part of my playroom set up like a classroom and I would teach my students for hours. Looking back, I find it interesting that this is the kind of play I enjoyed. I was not into Barbie dolls or such toys. And now, here I am…a mom and a teacher. Two things I loved whenI was little and two things I love as an adult.
In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.
Ovid Roman poet 43 BC–17 or 18 AD
In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.
Lev Vygotsky Russian psychologist 1896–1934
When I was younger, my mom had a daycare. I often watched how she did things a daycare provider and a mom and I mimoiced her in my play. I would often ask her questions about being a mom and she would give me answers. Sometimes she would see em doing something and would give me a better idea for what I was trying to “play”. She encouraged me to play and would often sit and watch me. She would play with me as well. She would “use” the baby she was babysitting and I used my doll. We would pretend to be friends and take them to the park together.(outside on the swingset) or we would “talk on the phone” and make plans to meet up with our “daughters”.
I think that play today is similar in the respect that children still play dolls and house and pretend. I think the part where it differs is that my type of “playing house” was much more innocent than the type of “playing house” that goes on now. Children know a lot more and are often exposed to a lot more. Television shows they watch promote boyfriends and the lifestyles of people have changed and children are aware of it. I would hope that children are still playing the innocent way that I did and living out their dreams through play. That is something that I did.
The type of play that I engaged in was meaningful to me. I remember watching my mom as a mother and playing the way that she mothered. And now I am replaying those same acts of mothering but this time with my own child. It is funny to think back and see myself doing things as an adult that are a reflection of the type of play that I enjoyed as a child.