Where does pretending come in? It relates to what philosophers call “counterfactual” thinking, like Einstein wondering what would happen if a train went at the speed of light.
~Alison Gopnik, “Let the Children Play, It’s Good for Them” Smithsonian Magazine. July 2012.
There’s a troubling phenomenon happening in early childhood education. It involves aligning standards to fake play.
Children own real play.
In Educating Young Children, Mary Hohmann and David P. Weikart discuss the HighScope preschool program and the welcome backseat adults often take to allow children to freely play. They say: When children are playing or starting to play, and are receptive to other players, adults can sometimes join them in a nondisruptive manner. This is real play.