Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Roleplaying with My Three Year Old

When I put her to bed last night, she was a little disappointed that we had not played Candyland for family night. I told her that we could play tomorrow, and she suggested that we play the story game with the dice again.

This time she told a story with Princess Mommy. I introduced a ghost that made an etherial wooooo sound. She wanted to smash the ghost and I told her that her hand went right through the ghost. She didn't want to accept that outcome. I suggested that we roll the dice to see if she was scared by the ghost (an opposed guts check for the Savage Worlds savvy). She send the plush d6 across the floor for a four. I rolled for the ghost and got a two. I told her that she scared the ghost with all her trying to smash it and he ran away. She said that she smashed the ghost and it's head came off and it went down the stairs and outside to the car and that she took the head to the ghost —she really gets a kick out of making up these outlandish stories. 

I'm not sure where she gets these ideas about smashing and decapitation of the incorporeal undead. She almost exclusively watches Disney Princess Movies—some of which are scary I'm aware; she prefers to stick to the non scary ones like Cinderella. I suppose the most violent thing we've exposed her to are stories from the Book of Mormon—and some of those are fairly brutal.

I know I watched a lot of violent cartoons and such as a kid, and I'm a very non-confrontational non-violent person. In fact, I was watching some Tom and Jerry a while ago and was a little shocked—it had been so long since I had seen anything like that—even the "violent" Saturday morning cartoons presently in syndication pale in comparison. It was almost a little unnerving, but then I read some of the Grimm Brothers collected fairy tales and realized that there is a rich history of exposing our children to the cruelties of the world through "entertainment." It's almost better to expose them to such things in a safe environment where you can explain that things aren't always nice, but we should always strive to be civil and Christlike. Seriously, the Scriptures contain some of the most Brutal and twisted "stories" I know—and these are the stories we use to teach our children to differentiate wright and wrong.

To bring things back around to the original topic. Role Playing is an excellent tool for teaching kids, especially when they are young and have no social stigma associated with games of imagination—which kids just take to naturally notwithstanding. They can learn cause and effect in an environment of parental control. They can learn math. They can learn social interaction. They can learn the highly abstract subject of statistics in a practical hands on way and so much more.

More Role Playing With My Three Year Old


  1. Clever teaching tool and fun as well. She will always remember that.

  2. I'm glad you're teaching our daughter in such a fun creative way.
    Some of the animated kids movies have that stuff. For instance Anastasia and she did go on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland a few months ago.

  3. Anastasia, that explains it. Rasputin is one ugly creepy fellow—and he was tamed down for the movie [shudder]