Dinosaurs galore! They roam our house.
Plastic and plush dinosaurs, of all sizes and facial expressions, are loved by my kids. The plastic ones have frightening expressions with bloody claws and sharp teeth. I understand that they need scary looking ones to play the villainous role, but it’s hard to understand their fascination with it, especially for someone like me who only played with dolls and stuffed animals.
When we browse the dinosaur aisle of toy shops, they pick the scariest looking dinosaur and say, “oh, isn’t it so cute?” When they say this, I look at them in disbelief as if they just arrived from another planet. However, I wonder if these ferocious dinosaurs symbolize fears they have and if thinking they are cute is a way to minimize those fears.
On some days, the kids line up a bunch of herbivores to pretend that the herd is migrating from one room to another. This is laborious work because each dinosaur is moved by hand little by little over time to show that they are really traveling as a herd.
However, the migration is not always smooth: surprise attacks by carnivores or lost baby triceratops that need to be found. This job calls for the Parasaurolophus to sound their horns to notify the whole herd. They save the villain roles for me.
Sometimes kids’ playing is hard to understand but to them it makes all the sense in the world.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
– Fred Rogers