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Awakening Children's MindsHow Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference$
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Laura E. Berk

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195124859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195124859.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Learning Through Make-Believe Play

Learning Through Make-Believe Play

(p.107) Four Learning Through Make-Believe Play
Awakening Children's Minds

Laura E. Berk

Oxford University Press

Two days a week, Kevin leaves his office 45 minutes early to take charge of his 2-year-old daughter, Sophie, while her mother, a university professor, teaches a late class. One balmy spring afternoon, Kevin retrieved Sophie at her child-care center and drove the 15-minute route home. Invited to look in on Sophie’s play, I met the pair at the front door and nestled into a rocking chair from which to observe unobtrusively. After downing the last bite of her snack, Sophie grabbed Kevin’s hand and led him across the family room to a rug lined on two sides by shelves filled with books, stuffed animals, and other play props. Sophie moved a toy horse and cow inside a small, enclosed fence that she and Kevin had put together the day before. Then she turned the animals on their sides and moved them toward each other. “Why are horse and cow lying down?” Kevin asked. “’Cause they’re tired,” Sophie answered, pushing the two animals closer together. “Oh, yes,” Kevin affirmed. Then, building on Sophie’s theme, he placed a teddy bear on another part of the rug and offered, “I think Ted’s tired, too. I’m going to start a bed over here for some other animals.” Sophie turned toward the teddy bear, lifted his paw, and exclaimed, “She wants a lollipop to hold in her hand!” “A lollipop in her hand? We haven’t got any lollipops, have we?” answered Kevin. “Laura has!” declared Sophie, glancing at me. “Has Laura got a lollipop?” Kevin queried. “Yes! She’s got all of those, and a swing and a table, too!” Sophie remarked, referring to my chair, which rocked back and forth next to an end table. “Maybe this could be a make-believe lollipop,” suggested Kevin, placing a round piece on the end of a long TinkerToy stick and handing the structure to Sophie “That’s a lollipop,” agreed Sophie, placing it in the paw of the teddy bear. “Can she suck that while she’s going off to sleep?” asked Kevin. “Do you think that’s what she wants?” “It’s a pacifier,” explained Sophie, renaming the object.

Keywords:   Authoritative parenting, Conflicts, Delayed gratification, Intersubjectivity, Make-believe play, Montessori schools, Sharing, Toys, Video games

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