I have noticed how my kids play with their toys and it’s totally different than my own play at their age. My son is very creative and I was never that creative when I was a child. In fact I lacked it. I also see how creative my daughter is with her play. She was playing tea party with herself and she used a bucket and put in toys and stirred it pretending she was cooking and she also had toys in her tea cups pretending they were something. Looking back at myself, I don’t remember being that creative and I remember my play was more concrete. I didn’t do stuff like pretending an object was a telephone or pretending an item was a food. I can remember seeing other kids do that stuff and it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do it but I never thought they were nuts or crazy or stupid. Did I do pretend play? Yes but it was more concrete. Like I played with my fake ironing board and I pretended to iron real clothes and I used real clothes for it. I pushed a doll in a stroller or baby carriage, I pretended to feed the baby or read to them. I also remember my mother showing me how to play with toys and I would copy her. I was much older when I started to do more pretend play on my own without anyone needing to show me. But it was more reality play. But I remember doing Mary Poppins with my dolls by messing up rooms in my dollhouse and I was pretending they were using magic to have stuff get put away themselves. I thought that was always neat in the movie and wished it were possible. That was one of the few times where I was actually creative and spontaneous. But I don’t think I would have came up with that idea on my own if I hand’t seen it in a movie.
Now my daughter and my nephew are playing together and I never played that well with other kids at that age. In fact I was older when I started to play with other kids around age six. Before that, I only did parallel play. But to me that was playing with other kids. But yet that seemed to concern my mother from how it sounded in my IEP from preschool. So one of my IEP goals was “Beth will play with other kids.”