Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Children at Play

Interesting piece in Slate about children and their imaginative play. The author says that kids are actually intuitive scientists, constructing and experimenting with various narratives in order to understand the world:
Suppose we combine the idea that children are devoted intuitive scientists and the idea that play allows children to learn freely without the practical constraints of adulthood. We can start to see why there should be such a strong link between childhood and fantasy. It's not that children turn to the imaginary instead of the real—it's that a human being who learns about the real world is also simultaneously learning about all the possible worlds that stem from that world. And for human children those possibilities are unconstrained by the practical exigencies of adult survival.
This matches what I recall from childhood, and seems to gel with my observations of Steph's (extremely vivid and active) imaginary life. Read the whole thing.

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