Why past tense in imaginative play in Finnish?
When playing house with a child, they say things like "Nyt se meni nukkumaan." when they mean that I should have the toy I am playing with go to bed. Similar use of the simple past / imperfect tense is what the child uses all the time in such contexts.
("meni" is past tense and translates to "went" in English)
The child has been living abroad for about three years now and I no longer remember if this pattern of speech is typical of Finnish children playing.
What is going on here? Why they use of past tense to imply that something should be done, and especially in imaginative play; this does not happen otherwise?