Pretend-play Ideas & Activities for Children to Play, Learn & Grow
In the previous blog, we have discussed – How Pretend-play Spurs Learning, Growth & Development in Children. Please click here to read in you haven’t.
Pretend play, also known as make-believe, can encourage development, as children learn through new dramatic play ideas, activities and games. In the process of creating and managing a restaurant together, roaming around in an elder’s shoes, or enacting with friends in a fairy-tale world, children learn and discover ways to imagine, co-ordinate, co-operate and solve problems.
At Jumpstart International Preschool, pretend play is one of the crucial ways that we employ to encourage learning, growth, and development. As a parent, you can further promote this in the following ways at home:
Recreate & imagine stories:
Encourage your child to recreate his/her favorite story by adding their own twist and turns and imagining what would happen further. Try to trigger their ideas by asking questions such as: “What do you think happened next?”, “What if the boy didn’t find his friend?” etc.
Give them dolls & puppets to play:
Give your child ample and regular access to toys like dolls, stuffed animals more puppets. However, it is not necessary that they must be store-bought. You can use your own craft and imagination such as making them out of paper, socks, wool, etc. Through imaginative play, children assign feelings and ideas to their toys and often use them to express, explore and work out their own feelings, ideas and thoughts.
Build & play with “Prop Boxes”:
Regular boxes, bins, crates and bags available at home can be themed with dramatic play materials and situations. Prop boxes can be a great way to spur your child’s imagination. Let them have a creative experience with the box. The prop boxes can become anything and everything including office, restaurant, castle, post office, shoe store, etc. You can decorate the box with a few materials to give it a look and feel and let your child’s creativity take it from there.
Make time & space:
When children are engrossed in pretend-play, they need uninterrupted time to play and explore ideas. In order to allow your child to fully explore and develop his/her creativity and imagination, give them their time and space
Nowadays, when a lot of the child’s time is taken up by scheduled activities, it is essential to understand what he/she might lose by missing out on pretend-play. In fact, a few hours of pretending to be a doctor and treating a patient or creating a castle and riding horses around the house with fellow soldiers is as essential as any other developmental activity.
So next time you see your child engaged in pretend play, don’t divert them. Let them pretend that they are astronauts and build a spaceship from cardboards and papers. Also, you can get involved and help your astronaut by crafting a helmet from foil and a bowl; it will be fun!
For more such information and tips check out the other blogs by our staff.
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