Friday, January 16, 2009
Imagination or just copying?
As I mentioned in my last post, I am interested in Waldorf philosophy, but I actually liked having some knowledge of pop culture growing up, and didn't feel limited by knowing about cartoon characters. My daughter doesn't recognize a lot of characters on sight, and definitely doesn't associate any specific storyline with any characters. I was pondering this yesterday when we were sitting in the play area of the McDonald's. It was the closest indoor play area to me, and we had been cooped up way too long in the cold weather. As we ate our lunch, I watched 4 little boys playing. They seemed to be about 3-5 years old. It became apparent that they were acting out scenes from Star Wars. I am probably overly-familiar with most Star Wars plots, but the action didn't look familar. My thought at the time (and I still lean in this direction) is that they were acting out scenes from the Clone Wars. Since these are cartoons, some parents seem to think they are appropriate for all ages. One of the reasons I think they were acting out scenes and not making it up as they went along is that any time one of the boys varied from the "script" another boy would shout "No! that's not how it goes!"
So, my question is this: Is it impressive that they were able to remember complex plot lines in order to act them out in the play area of McDonald's or would it be far more impressive at their ages if they were acting out a story of their own making? (From what I could tell, the boys knew each other in sets of two. Each set appeared to be strangers to one other.) I'm leaning toward, gee, can't kids be allowed to be kids? Star Wars really isn't for the preschool set.