Today as we walked home from school together, my daughter and her friend — who was coming over for a play-date — were a few steps behind me and my son, speaking quietly to each other. As I gave a closer listen, I discovered that they were talking about the roles they were going to play when they arrived at our house for the play-date. I decided to pry a little further.
“What are you doing?”

“We’re deciding who we’re going to be when we get home so that we can get right into playing,” my daughter said.

I was even more curious.

“Why? You have lots of time.”

“We want to be able to envision who we are so that we don’t waste any time with all that before we start the actual playing,” she replied.

“So you’re pre-playing?”

“Yes,” she answered matter-of-factly.

I smiled to myself.

At eight years old, my daughter has learned what a little bit of front end work can do for you — even when you’re doing it for play.