Post #3: Magical Thinking and Pretend Play

By: Victoria Doan

Me mt.jpg

Earbuds? No, it’s a snake. Its head is big and round and its body is long, skinny, and curly. It’s slimy to the touch. It doesn’t look too happy because it has its mouth wide open and its rattle is shaking. Be careful you don’t get bitten!

~ Victoria

Texture is seen in this description like when the snake is being described as slimy. It adds the element of creativity including focusing on descriptive words. In relation to art being creative and can inspire a child to create an art piece like a sculpture that adds a more of a feeling to it that adds to the five senses.  Just like the headphones engaging in pretend play adds feeling.

Magical thinking is when you bring an inanimate object to life. To do this, you must look at the object in a new light. What is its personality? What does it do for fun? What does it like or dislike? These are some questions educators can ask children to help them think magically. The trick is to use open-ended questions so children do not feel that there is a ‘right’ answer. More methods to promote creativity can be found on Honig’s (2017) webpage.

Children can then use these objects in pretend play. Pretend play is when children create scenarios and control themes and details within those scenarios (Fox & Schirrmacher, 2015). Educators should not direct children’s play but rather let children grow and learn at their own pace (Fox & Schirrmacher, 2015).

Children benefit from pretend play because it exercises their brains. It helps their social and emotional development because they can play with their peers and express their current state of being, respectively (Fox & Schirrmacher, 2015). They also have the chance to practice their language, social, planning, and decision-making skills (Fox & Schirrmacher, 2015).

Examples of Magical Thinking



Malak mt

Teddy is a student in the ECS program. She is very smart and joyful. She speaks MANY languages, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin fluently. She has a part-time job at Build-A-Bear that she adores. The hearts on her body represent her wonderful personality and the positive energy she carries around with her.


Abira mt

For pretend play and magical thinking, I used a stick. The item can be changed according to how we perceive the item. For some, it may look like a stick, phone, pointer, ruler and etc. It depends on how the individual views the item.

Sarah Maggie 


This is Mr. Broccoli he is a well known chef that does not let his personal background of being a vegetable get in the way of his passion of cooking. On his personal time Mr. Broccoli is an advocate for doctors without borders and believes that everyone should have a dream just like Martin Luther King Jr. He owns nine Barbie dream houses and is currently selling one in Pasadena. 



5 is a hungry gum eating machine made out of 5 gum wrappers. He is always hungry but he only eats gum wrappers. If he does not consume gum wrappers every ten minutes he will be angry and in rage.


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