I am always amazed by how creative kids can be when they play. Having a 2-year-old in the house, we often find ourselves eating pretend eggs she cooked in her kitchen, using toilet paper rolls as binoculars to look at birds out the window, or her new favorite, acting like we’re stuck when she waves her magic wand and puts us in pretend bubbles.
It seems like she’s consistently surprising me with her creative imagination, and I love it! But sometimes I forget to encourage it. For example, I remember one weekend I was cleaning out some drawers in our bedroom and I found a small hinged box that a watch had come in. Instantly my 2-year-old grabbed it to play with. She opened it, propped it up, started tapping her fingers on it and said, “I checking ‘puter,” as if she were on a laptop computer. After that she stared pretending other objects around the house were computers too.
Then later, while out shopping at a secondhand store, I saw in the toy section a small, pink computer. I thought, “this is perfect, she would love this!” So I snatched it up, bought it, and brought it home for my little girl. And I was right, she loved it… for about half an hour. Now the toy computer lives in a basket under her bed and she still goes around pretending random household items are her ‘puter.
Lesson learned: Kids are amazingly creative and can turn even the most ordinary of household items into something fun and different during playtime. And sometimes they even prefer the ordinary item with endless possibilities. Next time I’ll save my money and encourage her pretend instead!