Tag Archives: Development

The Banana Game


“Rainbow Monkey and Good Old Gorilla don’t know anything. And Owl knows everything. And I’m Rainbow Monkey and You’re Owl and Good Old Gorilla”

These are the instructions I’m given. We did just play this game 15 minutes ago, but it’s important that continuity is maintained.

It’s always interesting to dig into the Little Man’s games. There was one routine we had called “The Unkind Game” where one of his toy cars (often the white van. That damn white van) would refuse to be safe around the toy railroad tracks, and would consequently get bonked by the train.

It goes without saying that he played the train, and I, the truculent hot wheels.

There were a few variations on this game – one toy was behaving badly, and others would be frustrated and have to try to get the offender to shape up.

These games can, in theory, be little developmental diagnostics. Play is so integral to learning and growth – even tag, maybe the simplest of all games helps coordination and body-kinesthetic intelligence. Not to mention burning off the endless fountain of energy possessed by the little bastards. And even beyond development, play can be a method for processing new emotions or information. A five-year-old likely won’t sit down to talk through some unresolved conflict in their day, but they may act it out with stuffed monkeys.

And there have been other imaginative play games I’ve done with the little man that ended up with just him holding forth on some of his favorite topics – insects, spiders, trains, what have you. Some “Little-Mansplaining,” if you will. Obnoxious in an adult, but in a little guy who spends his days being corrected and directed and under the control of people bigger than him, it can be a way to get a little agency, build a little self-confidence.

So I was curious to see what the Banana Game (as it has since been monikered) would play out to be.

Then he started flinging his monkey around shouting “BANANAS! BANANAS! BANANAS!”

That was the game. The entire game.

I’m not exaggerating.


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