Play is the most enjoyable and delightful part of childhood. Not only as a part of enjoyment, play also plays an important role in learning process of a child from a very early age. Our Little ones learn and develop social skills, vocabulary, confidence, creativity, motor coordination, physical and emotional well being through play. When we talk about learning, the first thing we think about are books, but to be honest toys also play an important role in kid’s education and development. When we talk about toys, that doesn’t mean expensive ones, learning toys can be cheap and simple like plastic cups, spoons, simple dolls, teddies and their feeding accessories, pretend doctor’s set and cars etc. Simple pretend learning toys plays a huge role in kid’s development and learning, and this article is all about benefits and importance of pretend play. So, mums, let’s have a look on how pretend play benefits our children in their learning from a very early age. Through Pretend play they learn the difference of real and pretend objects and how to use these objects in their play, like a miniature pretend toy like cup, spoon and plate can be used to play instead of real ones, making feeding and drinking sounds to pretend that their teddy or doll is eating or a fake stethoscope on a pretend patient who is coughing or talking just to play his/her role as patient. These real-life consequences through play are so important in developing our kid’s social skills and confidence.
BENEFITS OF PRETEND PLAY:
- Imagination & Thinking Skills: Through pretend play, our little one learns about variety of real life situations like playing as a mum and feeding a teddy or doll, or a doctor or a policeman or teacher or student. If they have related toys, they think and create scenarios by themselves, like teddy is fallen sick or doll is crying and need mummy’s cuddle or food or a nappy change or a bath. This play especially along with other kids enhances our little’s thinking and coping ability in different real-life scenarios.
- Language & Vocabulary development: When kids think and play according to the toys they have and scenario of pretend play, they will also learn new words and vocabulary from one another.
- Social Skills: After reading point 1 & 2, now we all know that how pretend play build thinking and talking ability in a child. A child with good thinking and talking ability along with a good vocabulary at a very early age will develop good social skills for sure….
- Emotional Development: In scenarios like taking care of a baby or a teddy or taking teddy to a pretend doctor if it got hurt and need some bandage, or taking care of a crying baby or a happy baby, develops the ability to cope with difficult and emotional situations in real life.
- Sense Of Care & Love: Pretend play either with a doll or teddy or any other type like police or pretend guest and having a tea party or helping one another in cleaning with pretend cleaning toys or taking care and role play in different scenarios build a sense of care, love and affection as well as responsibility in a child as they do what they see their parents doing in real life or pretend play most of the time.
- Ability to Deal with Complex Situations: Pretend play helps your child develop ability and knowledge to deal with different complex situations along with patience because what they learn through play benefits them in real life as well.
ROLE OF PARENTS IN PRETEND PLAY: Pretend play is a very good way to get involve and spend a quality time with your child, as it needs a lot of talking and understanding in a playful way. Following are some beneficial tips for parents will get involve and play with their kids and build a beautiful bond of love and affection along with good learning….
1) Take your child’s favourite doll or teddy and ask your child” lets wash our teddy and then we will feed him” or name the toy that your child like the most like titi, fifi or any simple name that is easier for your child to pronounce and say let’s take titi for a walk or let’s give titi a swing or a slide or let’s give titi a drink or let’s teach our titi what we learn in the school…etc…Believe me kid love playing pretend roles with their parents and toys….
2) Name the toys with your child and encourage him/her to do so by repeating after your or just by asking questions.
3) Put some toys in a pillow cover or a bag or a box and take out one by one, asking or singing “what is in the box, what is in the box, lets come and see together, what is in the box… or something like this or you can make your own rhyme…when you take things one by one, it makes your child curious to know what will be next and he/she will enjoy naming these objects….When everything from the box is out then let your child think that what we can play with all these toys. Put some related objects together like, Doll, bath sponge feeding accessories and a little pillow or blanket, or teddy, bandage, toy stethoscope or pretend ointment. Then your child will think by themselves and create a situation to play along with you…This activity will make pretend play more joyful and helps kid in developing thinking skills, creativity, imagination and vocabulary.
4) It is very important for us to get involve with our kids and play with them and sometimes we should let them play on their own as well so that they can explore their creativity with independence as well. Play should be in a balanced way, we should play with kids, sometimes we should let them play the way they want and sometimes we should plan play dates for kids to play together. This way, kids not only develop social skills and confidence but also, they will learn how to share….
5) Play pretend Tea party with your kids. Ask them about where should I put this little teddy or where should I put this large teddy?? Could I please help you in putting cups on the table, could we please put ball under the chair? Use these words during your play, so that your child will get a sense about big, small, large, under, above or on… because we use these terms frequently in our daily lives, so, its very important to learn these terms. Pretend play like tea party, mummy baby, teacher student or any other pretend play also teaches our child manners and etiquettes to behave in a good way with others.
6) Use of rhymes and simple stories to enact in a pretend play is also a superb idea, like story of rabbit and turtle, rhyme like twinkle twinkle little start where your child pretends to be a star….
So, wonderful mums, I hope your enjoyed these ideas, I will be eagerly waiting to know your ideas of playing pretend play with your beautiful kids. It will be lovely, if we all mums share our ideas with one another…isn’t it..,