Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Imaginary play - gender differences?

Today I caught Esme 'breastfeeding' her doll for the first time. It was very cute but unfortunately I was too slow to catch it on camera and of course kids never repeat something like this when you want them to ;) It got me to thinking about imaginary play though. Esme has always enjoyed playing with her 'dollies'. Right from very little (I can't remember the exact age but by at least 12 months she was playing with the dolls) she was interested in them. Now days she likes to cuddle them, make them walk, put them to bed and so on. She just loves them. And this imaginary play isn't just dolls, it extends to other things such as playing kitchens and so on.

Then I thought about Jacob. He was never really in to imaginary play at the same age as Esme. Granted, he didn't have many dolls but the opportunity for imagination play was there. He was just never interested. It's only been in the last year or so that the desire for imagination play has been there and now he enjoys making things with his blocks and train set and making all the people 'talk' and do things. So, I'm interested to know what other peoples experiences have been! IS it a gender difference or is it just a matter of different personalities (because everyone who knows Esme and Jacob will know just how different the two of them are!!)


Emma said...

That's really interesting, I will have to watch H to see what happens. G was into imaginary play with her little people really early, probably as early as 18 months, definitely well before 2 she would be lining them up on the windowsill and sitting them at the table, putting them to bed etc.

Melissa said...

Well I only have my little man so can't do a real comparison with the gender. However Finlay, is just starting at 17months. he will push a doll around in a stroller. Leaning over and babbling at it.. (he will then throw the doll out and try and work out how the stroller works) He also chats to his toys in the bath and makes them talk to each other.

I think it might be a bit of a mixture. Fin is attracted to cars and things that make noise. He will accidently fall off something, then return and do it deliberately. He will also be as gentle as pie when he hangs the sox on the clothes airier, and carries the basket back into the laundry.

Megan said...

I'm not much help here, only having a little girl, but I was amazed at how she took to dolls. She has a range of toys, from cars and trucks to dolls and tea-sets and, although she plays with them all, I found it really interesting the way she began playing with dolls quite early on.

She began putting them to bed, cuddling them in her arms, sitting them around the table and 'feeding' them, making sure she offers them a drink as well. I've shown her NONE of this - she's just done it herself.

It's pretty amazing - kids really do watch everything!

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