Play is the model for the life-long practice of trying out new ideas

Vivian Gussin Paley writes: “From the earliest ‘pretend I’m the mama and you’re the baby,’ play is the model for the life-long practice of trying out new ideas.  Pretending is the most open-ended of all activities, providing the opportunity to escape the limitations of established rituals.  Pretending enables us to ask ‘What if?’”[1]

This got me wondering: what about children’s familiarity with generic conventions then… do these constrain them (as ‘inherent’ structures to story)?

On a similar note, Gussin Paley also writes: “‘Pretend you are the children who are playing,’ she said.  ‘What are you trying to accomplish and what stands in your way?” (p.2 A Child’s Work)


[1] P92 Vivian Gussin Paley (2004) A Child’s work; the importance of fantasy play.  The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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