The Benefits of Dramatic Play
Dramatic play is so important in the development of young children. The best part is that the possibilities are endless and can range from simple play with no materials to elaborate setups like double decker play houses (one can only dream!)
Some of the benefits of Dramatic Play include:
· Self Regulation
· Language Development
· Problem Solving
Dramatic play can be split up into two categories: Structured and Unstructured.
Structured, for example, is when an adult sets up a play space, such as a Pretend Grocery Store or Doctors Office, and helps to develop specific scenarios, prompts and talking points with the children.
Unstructured, for example, is when no invitations are given to children and they create scenarios with items that they find through independent play. This could include a child using a couch as a boat to sail into the sunset, or using play doh to make some dinner in their imaginary kitchen.
Here are five ways to encourage some structured dramatic play today:
1. Practice empathy by bringing baby dolls into the bath and encouraging your kids to wash and care for the babies, just like you wash and care for them.
2. Practice problem solving, cooperation and math skills by setting up a Grocery Store with recycled boxes from your pantry and an old cardboard box as a ‘cash register’
3. Incorporate creativity into your daily reading by encouraging your kids to act out the stories.
4. Collect old clothes, scarves and jewelry and let your kids explore independently.
5. Foster independence and problem solving by asking a simple question, such as ‘let’s go on a vacation! What do you think we’ll need to pack to get there?’ See what they come up with independently.
Check out our FREE printables to help you encourage structured dramatic play with your kids!