Developmental Benefits of Pretend Play

It’s always good to Pretend !

There are many benefits of pretend play for children. Children learn about what people do, and how they behave, from stories, television, and real life. They copy these roles in their play.

Through pretend play, children explore their feelings and emotions, stretch their imaginations, and act out their understanding of the world around them.

By trying out different roles, such as Mummy; Daddy; Fireman; Doctor; Secretary; Teacher etc. children discover what it feels like to be someone other than themselves – to experience life from another perspective.

Research has shown that during childhood pretend play, children develop their ability to think logically and creatively, and solve problems.

When you encourage your child to dream and pretend, they learn to use their imagination to see beyond what already exists, and they gain the courage to explore the unknown. These are all important skills for success in later life.

Encouraging Pretend Play

Join in on your child’s pretend play when you’re invited. Look for opportunities to foster relationships or ideas by playing a minor role.

Enjoy a ‘refreshing glass of orange juice’ or sample some ‘tasty cinnamon cookies’.

If you ‘hear a baby’, mention that it sounds like a ‘hungry cry’. If the ‘phone is ringing’ take ‘an order’ or ‘a message’ that fits with the role your child is playing.

Benefits of Pretend Play for Children and Skills Developed

The benefits of pretend play for children and the skills they develop include:

  • Social Interaction
  • Emotional Expression
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Imagination
  • Role Play
  • Fun!

Prop Ideas to Provide to Stimulate Your Child’s Imagination

Career Items:

Work gloves
Hair dryer (with cord removed)

General Dress-ups:

Shoes and belts
Bags and hats
Clothing for a variety of roles & cultures

Household Items:

Notepad and pens

Recycled Items:

Empty boxes, plastic bottles & containers
Cardboard tubes
Cards & envelopes

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