Role Play or Preteend Play is exactly what it says … Children pretend who they are or sometimes even the environment is pretend but it is one powerful tool during early years development. All children love to pretend they are someone else and then they essay a role of that person. Now how does this exactly aid development in young children.
1. First and foremost it develops Imagination – that means your child is thinking creatively. A bedsheet put across a stick becomes a home or a tent, a block becomes a telephone or a piece of cake. When children pretend they are recalling their past experiences and also associating these experiences to the present stiutation – complex process indeed!
2. They are developing Social Skills. Many a times Role play is done along with other children thus they have to interact, make decisions, accept and respect other children’s opinions, negotiate for what they feel they must have, cooperate, take turns, show self control and communicate. All classic requirements of social development.
3. Communication Development .. Since most of the time there is more than 1 individual involved. Verbal and non verbal communication, new words are learnt thus enhancing language development. Various emotions are expressed through verbal and non verbal communication. They learn to understand their co players and accordingly deal with them. Leaders and followers .. they realise sometimes they have to lead sometimes they must follow. They gauge their own strength and the strength of co players.
3. Physical skills – by using their body and hands and fingers they develop their Fine Motor and Gross Motor skills, hand eye cordination, visual discrimination and other physical skills.
4. Cognitive Development .. As children go through imaginative play they bank upon their past observation .. how Dad rides a scooter or How the mum goes about her chores or how does a teacher instructs her pupils and implement and apply them in the right situation.
5. While doing all these complex things children are having loads of fun, and totally enjoying the experience .. that by itself is a huge advantage in a child’s development.
Thus let your child imagine and participate in Role play by creating props along with your children.