When your children run around the house pretending to be superheroes, doctors and everything in between, they’re developing many skills without even knowing it. Pretend play is a brilliant way for your little ones to grow and develop and is a key factor in mental growth. Below we take a look at just a few of the skill sets they’re developing and why they’re so important.
Alone or in a group, when your little ones are creating their own fantasies, they are improving their vocabulary. When expressing ideas and plans for a play session they’re learning how to vocalise what they’re thinking and communicate that with others. When playing with adults new words around the topic of play are introduced and added to their vocabulary.
Creativity and Storytelling
While pretending to be a doctor your little ones are imagining themselves in that life and creating a new world of opportunity and excitement. They’ll spend time thinking about what a Doctor might do and say and what would happen next. Creative play helps children navigate emotions, identify how things make them feel and explore solutions through play.
Teamwork and Social Skills
When playing in a group, children are learning skills like turn-taking, sharing and listening, all of which become very important as they continue to grow. They learn how to be patient and get other people to listen to their ideas and thoughts.
Self Expression and Independence
Through pretend play little ones can explore and express their own needs and likes. Children often feel more comfortable in a play setting and are more likely to talk about worries and frustrations. Playing in their own little world also allows them to develop independence. Through making choices in play and entertaining themselves they’re learning how to have separate lives from their parents.
Encourage pretend play anytime you can through creating/buying props, asking questions like “What do you think a fireman would do?” and allowing them space to explore imaginary worlds in there own time.