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The Slipper: A child’s invented game

N., who has just turned seven, was amusing himself with an interesting little game today. Again and again, he placed a slipper in the middle of the lounge, walked up to it, and then slipped on the slipper, pretending to fall down over and over again. The interesting thing about this game, which he must have invented himself, is how it plays with words. He was slipping on the slipper. He was literalising the double meaning latent in the word, playing on the dual meanings of ‘slipper’. Hence, the game that he had invented for himself was based in creativity around language.

But I do not think that this was the only association that the child was making in playing the game. As far as I can tell from the dreams that he has recounted to me in the past, falling down plays a major role. Now, in the game, the child was clearly returning again and again to a practiced motion of falling – he was attempting to master the fall. Perhaps there has been a loss of stability in the child’s life which the fall represents – he has recently been told that he might be moving abroad and has also just recently joined a new school and moved into a new house.

What is interesting is that after the child had finished his game of slipping on the slipper, or playing the slipper, he started attacking the slipper, an object which he perhaps identified with – he started kicking it. While there is clearly aggression inherent in the act, it is worth noting that from his invented game, where he was really playing with his own creativity, he was turning to a game he had learnt from his elders and watched on TV and which thus represented the social order…



One thought on “The Slipper: A child’s invented game

  1. Thanks for the post, Sunee. Interesting dreams from that child, for sure. Keep us posted!


    Posted by Evanston Psychologist | December 4, 2014, 3:44 pm

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