I’m reading this conversation from the couch where I’m watching my daughters (9 and 6) and nephew (will be 3 in a month) playing with a bunch of colourful silicon straws. After talking about which colours they each wanted, they’re now walking around holding them on the sides of their heads as “pigtails”, on the tops of their heads saying “I’m an alien”, on their mouths saying “I’m a walrus”, pretending to use them as drumsticks, and waving them in the air like streamers. When one of them wanted the green one that another one had, they offered a swap. They’re copying each other, and building on each other’s ideas. The creativity, problem solving, and social skills involved in simple pretend play are too often underestimated, but even for older kids I think they’re so important. My girls don’t realise as they’re giggling with their cousins that they are practicing skills that will serve them long into the future, but so much comes from the capacity to ask “what if?”
Anyway. Play is absolutely essential work in child development, and kids have so many years of sitting at a desk ahead of them, no need to rush that. Also fwiw my 6yr old literally would not have opened her mouth to answer one of those questions when she was 2.5, and if she had, she would have “failed” that test too. She certainly couldn’t write all her letters and didn’t do any formal extra curricular activities at that age. Then we had 2 years of pandemic interrupting preschool before she started school in 2022. She settled in just fine and is now thriving there both academically and socially.
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