Do you remember being a kid? It all comes back to you once you have your own children. Ah the memories: golden sunsets, running through fields of daisies, slippery dips and round-abouts.

Right now my kids are talk playing, which in my book is not strictly playing. Sometimes they break into playing with character voices, often with American accents. A loud “MUUUUUM” can be heard and I jump up and say “WHAAAAAAT!?”. I then realise it was the character calling for the character’s mother and not my real children calling for me. When will I learn?

So that’s play play. Talk play goes a little bit like this:

B: So she does some magic now, and then Cinderella says let’s go to the castle?
G: And then they meet the baddie?
B: No, no, they make it to the castle.
G: Yeah, and then she says, “Have a good day”?

Do you remember? It’s like a living storybook where play is experienced from a

image by scbailey

distance, you are of the story rather than in it until you click back into play-play mode. ‘Tis a very complicated process. They seem to enjoy it though. My husband is baffled by talk play. He throws his hands in the air dramatically and says, “Why don’t they just play? Quit talking about it and get on with it!” Very funny.

Talk play means that two kids can play the ‘boss’ role. This may be the only situation in the history of situations where this actually works! The little muppets build the story together in the spirit ‘co-operation’ (wasn’t there a kids song about co-operation?). I wonder what the psychology is behind it? Anyone, anyone?
And so, how does this fascinating phenomenon end? Usually when one gets bored, distracted, too bossy or upset. It’s really exciting, like watching the Commonwealth Games in India. You know that drama is right around the corner.

Can you imagine adults talk playing. It’s a big footy, netball, badminton, soccer, monopoly, basketball game. You’re on the court, field, table. You eye off your opposition and it begins:

A: So you hit the ball and it goes out?
B: No way, the ball is in, but only by a millimetre?
A: Yeah, but then I do an awesome kick/shot/roll of the dice and I get some points on the board?
B: But only after I trip you over/you land on my property.

Hmmmmm. Sounds way too complicated. How about embracing the adult world and just getting on with the game? Choice bro/sweet as/ wickeeeeed.

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