Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

What did you pretend when you were little?

Asked by JLeslie (47245 points ) March 31st, 2014

My girlfriends and I used to pretend we were Charlie’s Angels. I was Kelly.

Do kids still pretend in the same way we did 40+ years ago?

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49 Answers

janbb's avatar

My friend and I used to pretend to be teenagers. Earlier, I would play cowboys and Indians with my cousins.

We also played Teddybear town in a tree we climbed.

ragingloli's avatar

Innocent.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Wonder woman. We’d be fisherman out of my grandfather’s truck bed. We’d be the Dukes of Hazard. Lots of cooking of mud and twigs, etc…

ucme's avatar

Stuntman, always jumping out of trees & off buildings.
Tarzan, used to wander off into the woods & do his famous yell, startled the birds from the trees which scared me greatly.
Batman, slide down street lights in an attempt to mimic the batpole.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I forgot about Wonder Woman! I used to do that too.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I saw an old episode this weekend, it’s the bracelet power I love the most!!!!

Juels's avatar

Our white trash family had an old broken down car in the back of the driveway. It was a piece of junk, you could crawl from the cab out through the trunk. The front bench seat wasn’t bolted down anymore. We used it to play The Dukes of Hazzard. Whenever the General Lee jumped a creek or broken bridge, we’d lean the seat all the way back.

We, also, played Grease. All the girls would fight over who got to be Sandy.

My daughter played Powerpuff Girls. My nieces all play Disney princesses. There are so many, that everyone can be a princess now.

whitenoise's avatar

We were Steve Austin… the Six Million Dollar Man.

We’d slow run and jump up and down things. And of course we made the sounds (youtube promo clip).

anniereborn's avatar

I dunno, I started dance when I was 5 and theater when I was 9. That was some good pretending :)

JLeslie's avatar

@whitenoise Another one I had forgotten! I used to pretend I was the bionic woman.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

My older brother was Batman, and I was Robin.

ragingloli's avatar

Which is funny, because batman and robin were in a gay relationship.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Not to a kid, neither was Rock Hudson, who also wasn’t gay to millions of women. To a kid, Batman is just Batman.

muppetish's avatar

My siblings and I had active imaginations and played pretend all the time. We would assign roles from our favorite TV shows and books. My favourite was when we were Koopalings. We had elaborate stories based on them.

I still play pretend, to some extent.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli Please don’t start gay-bashing Batman and Robin, geesh.

janbb's avatar

I think he was bashing @Hypocrisy_Central not Batman and Robin.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@janbb Oh, well, at least HC answered the question.

JLeslie's avatar

This Q is quickly become one of my top ten favorites.

longgone's avatar

Oh, Great Question!!

* Speedy Gonzales. I’ve never watched it, but a friend of mine did.
* Gang of robbers. We made up our own song.
* Dracula. That basically meant “some vampire who loved his cloak and owned a tame dragon, lion and wolf.” Weird game, in retrospect.
* Orphans. We lived in a tent.
* Owner of an Animal Sanctuary
* Cave Men
* Family of Monsters
* Narnia
...there’s more, but my dinner’s getting cold.

Most of the kids I know play pretend just fine. They are mostly animals at the moment, as well as families. I love how they often address each other by their “character description”: They don’t assign names, but call each other “brother”, “sister” or “dog”.

@muppetish Me, too.

Symbeline's avatar

In the wintertime I used to like pretending to be video game characters. There were snowbanks everywhere, and a lot of snow piled up by the sidewalks and streets. But people would obviously shovel their walkways, so it made all the banks separated by little gaps. So I pretended those were death pits and I’d run around on the banks jumping over the gaps. I usually carried some kind of stick and pretended it was a sword, although most of my imagination was concentrated on climbing snow banks.
Sometimes I’d pretend to fight things, and if the imaginary enemies hit me I’d purposely throw myself backwards and fell in the snow, pretending they were rocks that my impact broke. And that was way before I ever watched Dragonball Z haha.

There were woods all along the river bank as well, I played down there so much, climbing trees and running around and stuff. It was another great imagination field for being Moonlight the Ninja.

GloPro's avatar

I LOVE this question. I hung out with Paula Abdul and the A-Team. Face was my boyfriend, I was always getting shot, and they would come visit me and tell me how brave I was in my hospital bed in my bedroom.

Juels's avatar

My daughter would play Scooby-Doo with her dolls. She always tied up Daphne because she was captured again.

Hubby used to play ninja and GI Joe.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, great question! :-)

I was an inventive little thing and between my creative personality and being an only child I was very good at amusing myself.
I was horse crazy as a child and lived for westerns, horse movies, books, and collected model Breyer horses. I spent endless hours playing with my model horse in my big, park like backyard.
I built corrals out of twigs tied to gether with string, and turned my Barbis into cowgirls.

I also used to line up all of our dining room chairs into a “team” of six horses, two abreast and string ribbon or ropes through them and put an ottoman on top of a big easy chair and drive my “stagecoach.” haha
Our backyard gate was a tall redwood gate with about a 6 inch plank on top and that was my “horse.” I would put a blanket on top, folded up like a saddle pad and string rope reins under the latch and ride my very tall horse.
Another favorite was tying string to my naked Barbis and sending then down the rapids in a local creek. I invented “White water Barbi.” lol

I also loved to catch the dozens of toads in our yard on summer nights and play with them, along with collecting Pollywogs and raising them in a big rubber tub until they were little froglets that I released at the local creek.
Drawing and reading were favorite past times too.

Coloma's avatar

typo…“together” not “to-gether.“haha

ucme's avatar

I also pretended to be a slow runner so the girls could catch me when playing kiss, cuddle or torture
“Oops, I seem to have fallen, what on earth will happen to me now?”

GloPro's avatar

@ucme Male puppies let female puppies win, too. You dog.

GloPro's avatar

Doe-n’t mention it.
Clearly his name is Buck…

ucme's avatar

My name is Buck & i’m here to fu…ahh-haa, no swearing

Cruiser's avatar

Mighty Mouse. Tuck a towel in the back of my shirt, throw my fist in the air….leap off the nearest piece of furniture and….“Here I come to save the day”

Blondesjon's avatar

I was a fucking Jedi Master.

in my early teens my hand and I used to pretend I was getting laid . . . a lot.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

When we helped with the laundry, we’d take the socks waiting to be sorted, tuck them into the neck of our shirts and entertain mom. My brother and I were jesters.
I’d get on the rings on my swingset and play olympics, never noticed the women didn’t compete on rings.
I too played Charlie’s Angels, but living on a farm, I rarely had any playmates but one brother. It fell upon me to be all three girls. He was Charlie, but that was a bit part. Being the bad guy was no big stretch for him.
I stood on my pony barefoot while she walked slowly about, and pretended I was in the circus. When I was eight, I taught myself how to walk across the top of my swingset, and added tightrope walker to my circus acts.
Sometimes I would play jaguar, and nap in a tree. When I woke up, I’d pounce from my branch on imaginary prey.
Sometimes I would sit on the little woven entry rug and pretend it was a flying carpet
I had a lot of imaginary roles.

downtide's avatar

I used to pretend all sorts of things when I was a kid. In fact I think I lived 90% of my life in my own imagination. I only remember a few of them though. One in particular was some kind of vampire/witch-hunter. A bit like Buffy, 20 years before she was born. And because I spent a lot of my childhood years with horses, a lot of my imaginary adventures involved such things as cowboys, jousting knights and suchlike.

You ain’t played Cowboys and Indians properly until you’ve played it on horseback.

Coloma's avatar

@Cruiser Oh noooo…. now I will hear that Mighty Mouse voice for the rest of the night..I need a drink. lol

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma Your ear worm just got bigger….

“Mister Trouble never hangs around
When he hears this Mighty sound”.....

“Here I come to save the day”

Mimishu1995's avatar

Do you ask if I pretended for role-playing or for other purpose?

I pretended a lot. Too much to write.

Here’s a brief history of my pretending:
7 years old: pretended to be a princess.
10 years old: pretended to be Batgirl.
13 years old: pretended to be Sherlock Holmes.
15 years old:
– pretended to be a Korean music lover (in front of my friends).
– pretended to have given up my writing (in front of my parents).
16 – 17 years old:
– pretended to be a teen romance lovers.
– pretended to have given up detective stories.
– pretended to be a normal girl who liked things other girls like.
– pretended to take an interest in non-violent things (in front of my parents).
– pretended to have less sense of humor (in front of my parents again).
– pretended to be obedient and have no objection to any orders, good or bad.
– pretended to know a lot about Korean music.
– pretended to have a favorite Korean singer.
– all of the things I pretended to be when I was 15.

Did I say I became more deceptive as I grew up?

GloPro's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Interesting perspective.

talljasperman's avatar

I also pretended that I was an adult.

Adagio's avatar

My grandparents had a pack of cards, each had a different bird on it, we would divide up the pack and play birdwatchers, they were birds that do not live in NZ but we saw them anyway and took notes.

I remember playing families at school, the girls would play and used trees as houses, we cooked food and did “motherly” type things, it was in the un-PC 60s when little girls just wanted to be mothers and have babies, other options were not talked about, not by little girls anyway.

We also tried to catch birds using a cardboard box, a slice of bread, a short wooden prop to elevate the box on one side and a long piece of string to pull when a bird went inside to get the bread. That was the theory anyway. Did we ever catch one? No, I don’t think we ever did. Re-reading the question I don’t think this answer really applies, oh well.

Adagio's avatar

@ragingloli _”…because batman and robin were in a gay relationship.” What tosh!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

When I was five, I wanted to be Daniel Boone for about a day before I realized that my dog had a much better time in the woods and he didn’t have to fight Indians every day. Also, he didn’t ha ve to do what his mother told him to do all the time. He only had to do what I told him to do and I never ever told him to clean his room or take out the garbage. I think I wanted to be a dog for a couple of years. We spent a lot of time together, hiking in the woods, looking for caves in the Sierra foothills near Sacramento. We went on long bike rides, built forts in the cattails, hung out at a trout farm, swam and fished in the American River, camped in the backyard, visited friends’ farms where Sonny would watch and bark while I rode the pigs—and all the while I was following Sonny’s lead, wishing I was a dog like him. I studied him, and we understood each other. We were a wolfpack of two wild things and nobody could put a leash on us. We had each other’s backs.

When my dad asked me one day what I wanted to be, I told him and he totally freaked out and went straight to my mom and there was a long discussion. He wanted to know why I didn’t want to be an Indian or something like he did when he was a boy. I think mom knew what was going on. She never worried about her kids’ mental health. But nobody ever asked me for a long time after that. At about seven, I wanted to be a cowboy, then a sailor, then a jet pilot. I think my dad started to relax.

He used the jet pilot thing to encourage me to do well in mathermatics. The carrot was flying lessons as soon as I was old enough if I got consistent A’s. He was cool. Just a little out of touch. He was a busy young breadwinner with a lot of kids. He blew it a lot, but always made up for it. He got one very important thing right, though. He married my mom.

Seek's avatar

As a very young child I had an imaginary friend. Her name was Magalyn, and she had green skin and blue hair and wings that could change colours. She “gave me” keys (meaning, I’d find keys in the basement, or an old shed, or on the ground somewhere) and they were my Magic Keys. I would look for places the key would “fit”, like a knothole in a tree, or a gap between two slats in the shed wall, and that would open a door to some alternate dimension where I could go and have adventures. Magalyn and I would ride dragons, or fight badguys, or whatever.

Juels's avatar

My older brother and his friend would hang out in the woods and play Cheech and Chong. They would roll up toilet paper, pretend it was a huge joint, and smoke it.

When they got older, they thought they were Bob & Doug MacKenzie. They’d take beer, go out to the woods and speak like Canadians.

SnoopyGirl's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for the great question! It brought back a lot of great childhood memories. The first thing that came to my mind was playing I dream of Jeannie with my cousins. My cousin and I would fight to be Jeannie and my boy cousin would always be her master. I forget what his name was. The other great memory was playing with my sister. We had a wooden kitchen set growing up and one of us would be the customer and the other would be the cook/waitress. We would go pick flowers and leaves in the summer and they would be our food dishes. My sister and I would also play dress up with some of my Mom’s old clothes. She gave us high heel shoes, hats, jewelry and dresses. We would pretend to be rich ladies and say…“Oh daahhlin, go fetch me my car” (or whatever we wanted at that moment). So much fun!

Smitha's avatar

School play was the pretend play I often used to engage in. I loved imitating my teacher. My dolls and stuffed toys were the students.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We played Army. We dug a “foxhole” in the Kessler’s backyard to would hide there.
Our clothes must have been filthy. My poor mother.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks again everyone. The answers made me smile. :)

Mimishu1995's avatar

Glad you enjoy my crazy post about how I cheated people @JLeslie.

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