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Playing pretend and make believe: do children still do it?

My friend came across an interesting group of children the other day. She was babysitting them and asked if they wanted to play pretend. The answer dumbfounded her. They didn't know what playing pretend was.

This got me thinking. On the one hand, there are some parents who say that college starts in kindergarden, and will put money and effort into making sure their children go to pre-schools that teach skills that could possibly put them above their peers come kindergarden.

On the other hand, we live in one of the most interesting times in human history. Most children, from the moment they are born, have access to television, and apps on smartphones that are easy enough for them to operate.

I never grew up with a smartphone in my life like my little cousin who is 8. He plays Angry birds on his dad's iphone whenever we get together at holiday parties and whatnot. My first game system was a N64 when I was about 10, and the internet (dial up) when I was about 12. I didn't get a computer until I was in the seventh grade.

I grew up playing the backyard with a plastic sword and a cap rifle from disneyland, or in the living room with a wooden train set. With young children being exposed to all this constantly, it makes me wonder if imagination is dead, or if it just has become something else. I'm not sure. What are your thoughts on it?

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  • Apr 28 2013: I also pay attention to nowaday children,they are quite different from us anymore:less and less them play wildly like us in countryside:played with all kinds of plants,animals...now those children,more and more of them just stay at home playing games with all kinds of electronic products...i have no idea it is good or bad,or any differences bewteen them and us.But it really deserves to observe and have more researching in detail.
    • Apr 28 2013: I don't think television and video games are bad mind you. True they should probably get outside more, but I've seen that video games in particular inspire creative and imaginative ideas as much as they consume time. My younger brother (he's 13) for example is enamored with any flying vehicle in a game and always tries to think of ways that a design like he's seen would function in real life. It wouldn't surprise me if he became an engineer just to make his favorite aircraft a reality.

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