Even without me taking any action, in the true spirit of Montessori, my son is a reality based little man. Being a 22 months old, he is just beginning to discover the wonder of the open ended imaginative play. However, it is always around real objects and materials.
Of course, I am very happy about it. I can't emphasize enough the importance of reality for the child development. But then I find myself wondering... more and more lately. Where the limits should be placed? The most important thing for me, of course, as a Montessori inspired mom, is to follow my child. However sometimes, I hesitate in translating this motto into practice. For instance, if my child starts preparing pasta with the real pasta, using water and species, inspired by the real cooking he envisioned and participated in earlier, what would be a proper reaction? Should I allow him, or redirect him? When it happens, he is so absorbed and concentrated, that usually I decide not to interfere. But I am not sure if this is the right message I am sending him. Sometimes, I try to redirect him, but then again I am not comfortable. I feel like I intervened his true desire and interrupted his process of learning and creativity.
My husband just built a beautiful wooden kitchen for our son. I hesitate if we should introduce it to him now or wait until he will be more into the imaginative play. He will love it!!! But I have almost no doubt that the first thing he will do is bring water in some sort of can to wash the dishes in the wooden sink, or open our supplies cupboard and bring species and pasta to start cooking on the wooden stove. I am not sure what would be the best reaction to this. How can I encourage him to cook using wooden utensils instead of the real ones, and his imagination instead of the real supplies?
I guess my query is the one of the first time parent. How do children start making a stone soup???:) My son's only imaginative play (without using real objects) until now was phoning his dad, using as a cell phone everything he had in touch.
My little angel doesn't speak yet. Oh no, he has no trouble to express himself to anyone, not even a stranger. With almost no words, he is one of the most expressive people I know. Somehow,
I feel that when he starts talking, his imaginative play will break out. But I am not sure.
I will appreciate any insights you'd like to share.
Thank you a lot!
PS If you were wondering, what is the white powder on the coffee table... well, this is, of course.. baking soda. He has built an entire plan to reach it - brought the step stool to the counter, climbed to open the drawer, found the special box where I keep the baking soda, took it out. Opened the box, took it out, pulled the rubber band from the package. All this to disperse baking soda all around the living room. While singing to himself - what he usually does when he is deeply involved into something. Oh yes, all this, not before he returned the step stool to its place. I didn't have the heart to intervene...:)