Meet the Manushes
Amie has a set of 1-2-3 Playmobil guys (and one gal) called the “Manushes” – “Manush” is the Bengali word for “human”. From left to right in the picture: Pilot Manush, Baba Manush, Sailor Manush, Engineer Manush, Mama Manush.
She is getting into real pretend-play now: a new stage in her development. Previously she would re-enact scenes with her bears and doll: “Sit down!” she shouts, “No running!” – it is always funny and a little bit disconcerting to hear yourself being imitated like that, with just a little bit of exaggeration. This was not pretend play in the strict sense: she just repeats events that have happened to her.
A week ago she began employing the Manushes in true made-up play scenes: they ride a train, fly around in the airplane, and more than often fall off various surfaces, from various heights (then they “need a big hug”).
We had a box lying around and I figured I could either recycle or reuse it. In keeping with our Here and Now Save the Planet at Home list, reuse was the best option. And after the success of the “Uglies,” I was confident enough to craft it into something.
What is it for?
It took me all of an hour (in fragments) to complete and I had fun making it. I had even more fun seeing Amie’s reaction: she tried to peel the portraits off the back wall, tried to rip off the windows, threw the whole thing across the room a couple of times, then tried to sit in it…
Though she can wreck it if she wants to (that’s why I didn’t make it too fancy), I did manage to demonstrate its preferred function, and now she has made peace with the Manushes (and occasionally Bob and Baby) inhabiting it. She even discovered that they can go down the holes in the podium: “Manush down into the basement!”
Making this leap into imaginative play is broadening her world tenfold, and it is a privilege to witness and, once in a while, to be invited in.