When a Child Pretends

When a Child Pretends: Understanding Pretend Play shows vivid scenes of children at play in sequences that require planning, negotiating, collaborating, taking roles, and developing narratives. Children explore ways of using language and the imaginative “as if” thinking that leads to advanced intellectual functioning. We witness children deeply engaged in activities that are enjoyable as well as productive. The learning that takes place during play is seen in the child’s increasing ability to think hypothetically, to reason and to function effectively as a social being in a complex world.

When a Child Pretends encourages discussion of questions such as:

  • What are the different types of play?
  • What is the developmental importance of pretend play?
  • How do children use toys, props, language, and space in their play?
  • How and why do children play?
  • What are the roles of parents, educators, playground designers, urban planners, therapists, and others in facilitating play?
  • How can concerned adults advocate for play?