By Julia H.
October (and Halloween) is a great time to embrace the power of Magical Thinking! Magical thinking is how small children understand and process their world, and it differs in predictable ways depending upon the age of the child.
Infants and young toddlers fill in details about how things work, and how things relate to each other, using magical thinking. Although their conclusions may seem illogical at times, try to put your frustrations aside - as they gain more experience with the world, they will be able to work through and figure out their role in the world.
The three to four year old set often overestimate the power of their own magical thinking, which goes right along with this period of rapid mastery of everyday skills and growing independence.
As Kindergartners start learning the boundaries between fantasy and reality, you may see a more intentional shift in their magical play. 5- and 6-year olds often use fantasy play to help them cope with real fears or stresses in their lives - for example, re-enacting a fire safety drill over and over with their toys until they feel confident in their ability to follow the plan in an emergency.
Want to learn more about kids and magical thinking? Check out this article from Scholastic!
Got tips of your own? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may be featured in an upcoming Squeak!