I observed in Montessori classrooms and it doesn’t seem like there is an opportunity for pretend play. Is this true?

“Children’s House” in 1907, Dr. Montessori found that children did not choose pretend play when given the opportunity to do actual, meaningful work instead. Her first classrooms contained dollhouses, for instance, where children could pretend to serve tea to dolls—and real, child-sized tea sets, where children could prepare real tea and serve it to each other. Invariably, the children would choose to do real work with real utensils, which is why we enable our children to do the same in our classrooms. This is not to say that pretend play should be eliminated from a child’s experience. If a child engages in pretend play at home, parents should support the child’s choice. But in the school environment, we’ve found that children themselves prefer to be engaged in meaningful work—and find it fun!