Stiamo percorrendo l’Italia: guarda tutte le date! →

Difference between imagination and fantasy in Montessori

Carlotta Cerri
Salva

You’ve probably read quite a few times on my blog and Instagram that I prefer Oliver and Emily to read books and watch videos related to reality. If they watch a movie, I like it to be a documentary (lately we love Chimpanzee by Disney Nature); if they watch a cartoon, I like it to be as realistic as possible (Curious George is great, the monkey doesn’t talk, the subjects are all about the real world, and each episode teaches curiosity and problem solving skills); if they read a book, I prefer it not to be a fantasy story.

Today I’d like to tell you the reason why and to do so I’ll borrow Cristina Tebar’s words from www.montessoriencasa.com. If you’re interested, you can read her post: Imaginación y Fantasia en Montessori (also in Spanish).

And here’s a quick summary for you:

  • Imagination and fantasy are not the same thing: imagination comes from the mind of the child; fantasy comes from the outside world.
  • Montessori is not against fantasy, it actually encourages it from when the child is 5-6 yo
  • Before 5-6 years old, the child's mind is not prepared for abstract thinking, so he can't differentiate fantasy from reality.
  • After 5-6 years old, the child's mind start thinking abstractly so it can process fantasy stories.
  • We adults want to expose them to fantasy because we like it ourselves, but they don't need it.
  • We adults think it's better to introduce fantasy stories when children are young so they'll still believe them, but it's quite the opposite: it's better to introduce them when their mind ir ready for abstract thinking (5-6 years old).
  • Ways to encourage imagination, and limit fantasy before 5-6 yo: realistic books, images, paintings, clothing, toys; talk about the real world; answer their questions honestly.

PS. On the same subject, you might also be interested in how we handle traditions full of fantasy characters, like Christmas in Montessori.

Accedi alla conversazione

Parla di questo post con il team La Tela e tutta la community e unisciti alle conversazioni su genitorialità, vita di coppia, educazione e tanto altro.

Ti consiglio anche

Selezione di albi per bambini e adulti per promuovere la lettura in casa
3 min
Blog
28 min
Podcast
The other day I read a text written by Marta Prada from Pequefelicidad on her Instagram account.Her words got to me, because it reminded me of something I experienced first-hand...
5 min
Blog
Photo credit: Fabio CaponettiThree years ago today, I published a post about our way of living Christmas, and when I read it again today I surprisingly still liked it! Although ...
5 min
Blog
As you may already know, we do not celebrate Christmas in the traditional way (Santa Claus, nativity scene and gifts under the tree) and we are always looking for ways to make t...
2 min
Blog
Even before being parents and starting our Montessori journey, Alex and I often discussed about Christmas and how to handle it with our kids. We’re not religious, we usually wor...
9 min
Blog