The PretendersPosted: July 9, 2013
One of the best things about being a nanny is the opportunity it affords me to act like a kiddo again. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bit of the whimsical about me, and am prone to flights of fancy. I love playing make-believe with my charges, always encouraging them, when it comes to imagination, to Go Big or Go Home.
I start small, turning ordinary objects into imaginary vehicles, homes. I watch the expressions on the kiddos’ faces as they react to my pretending. Rebel’s eyes open wide as I get into a laundry basket schooner, Doc furrows his brow in concentration as I show him that each pillow he hops to is a boulder surrounded by molten lava, Boss Lady twirls around as I gasp at her hair I see as a Rapunzel-like braid that has looped itself around furniture. With a little prompting from me, they can turn anything into whatever they want it to be. Seeing their eyes light up, almost being able to hear the cogs of their brains churning and creating is something I truly treasure.
I remember as a child thinking of ordinary objects perpetually in their imaginative state. I would giggle to myself as my mama pulled one of my capes(a blanket) out of the dryer, or my daddy stacked cars(cardboard boxes), on top of rockets(cardboard boxes), on top of castles(cardboard boxes). I hope the kiddos always remember our playacting, and hours of invention. Imagination is so important and something that I believe caregivers should devote much energy to. Whether it’s doing different voices for characters while reading a book, making up a song, lending some storytelling flair to a history lesson, whatever the opportunity, it’s never too small.
When my efforts to ingrain imagination in the kiddos pay off it is so exciting! My heart skipped a beat the other day, when Rebel said, “I’m going to hop in this boat, Cheryl,” stepping into a laundry basket and setting sail for…well we can only imagine!