The older girls’ dream universe



The older “little girls” (5-6 year olds) have already learned the general conditions and rules of right and wrong, good and evil. The girls apply these rules verbally to each other and simultaneously experiment with rules in their role play with dolls. At this stage girls also begin to show an interest in what could or might happen to them when they grow up.

The older girl’s dream universe is a realistic universe. Her fantasy is built up on experience and reality. She is inspired by everyday life but often also by TV series about life at the riding school, the animal hospital, the children’s hospital, etc. The dolls are important to the game as they are used as compensatory figures for real people. Girls aged 5-6 years very often enjoy making accessories/inventory and props (drawing, cutting out, painting and sticking things together). Toys are very often only a supplement to the home-made things.

  • The older “little girl” (5-6 year old) dreamsand imagines that she has many different jobs and roles as an adult. These are the classical female roles and jobs which she tries to learn about and to understand by playing and imitating them. This kind of play is especially significant if the females with whom she identifies (and has almost certainly met) are independent, strong and attractive and if they demonstrate authority and security. Specific jobs motivate the girl’s play. The game’s specific characteristic is that the doll is assigned a role and a character both of which are clever and original (unique). As girls of this age are also starting to interrelate in friendship dyads or triads, they often play together and experiment with the content of job functions.
  • By the age of six, girls have learned a great deal about the obvious content of the various female roles. They are able to recognise and transfer these roles into play with doll Now the concept of female independence begins to gain ever greater conscious significance for them. The girls begin to see themselves as teenagers who are so “clever and grown-up” that the adults are starting to ask if they are ready to take over a more responsible role. The roles themselves are determined by reality, although the texts are often banal clichés, inspired by TV soaps. In play the girls dream of being transformed into an older, clever girl, a good mother, the teacher who can even get the boys to listen in class, a riding school manager or a successful, attractive, beautiful career woman with a good job, plenty of money to buy splendid clothes, her own mansion, pets (horses, dogs and cats), super holidays in faraway countries, a car, etc.
  • From about six years, girls begin to organise themselves socially in looser friendship groups and major conflicts begin to occur between them. The girls prefer to reach agreement on decisions affecting their play universe. In fact they hate conflict but are unable to avoid it. Conflicts occur when the girls discuss setting the scene of the more complex and problematic play processes where horses, dogs, small children etc. play a role together with doll Each individual girl wants very much to be special - to be beautiful, really clever or outstanding in some way - which is also what they demand of each other generally.
  • In order to accommodate the internal conflicts from the age of about six years, girls begin to cultivate secret qualities and valuesbetween themselves in their play and their dreams. They prefer to be loved and accepted and admired. They want their love, acceptance and admiration to be reciprocated. Therefore, they start “self stage management” and they test this out in games between friends. Girls who are friends help each other, seek harmony, are honest and extremely tender with each other. By way of contrast, conflict and schisms between friends are real catastrophes - often for both parties. However, the 6-7 year olds also have a very realistic evaluation of their own situation. The girls talk a great deal within play and situations are constantly brought up for consideration and reconsideration, constantly evaluated and re-evaluated.




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