An important activity that you can do as a parent is to encourage and participate in your child’s pretend play. Every area of development can be enriched with pretend play.
Here are some fun ways that this kind of play engages children in essential life and personal skills, as well as increases their knowledge of the world around them.
Research has found that children who participate in pretend play benefit in a variety of ways.
Additional development benefits include the following:
Language & Communication Development
Pretend play helps children understand the power and importance of language. During imaginary play, you often hear a child repeat words and phrases that you, or other adults, have said to them. Playing with language and learning rich, interesting words strengthens a child’s vocabulary development which, in turn, is a strong predictor of future literacy skills.
By encouraging dramatic play, parents help children develop fine and gross motor skills. A focus on hand-eye coordination and visual skills will later aid in reading and writing.
Free, unstructured pretend play is vital for developing problem-solving and reasoning skills. Dramatic play encourages children to use imagination by acting out familiar scenes. This ability to think symbolically and creatively is the precursor to all future literacy and math skills.
There are a variety of ways that you can promote pretend play at home.
Young children learn by imagining, playing, and doing. So when you see your child riding a pretend pony and wrangling up stray cattle, grab your cowboy hat and join in!