I have to say that I am very lucky that my girls love to dress up and pretend play all the time! Many people think that if a child is playing they are not learning, but it’s totally the opposite. I remember several times when I taught in a Pre-K classroom parents would ask me why the children played every morning and at the end of the day. Several times I even got asked “Do they ever learn or do school work at all?”. My respond was always, “Well if you look in your child’s folder everyday you will see that we do work and “learn”, but they are actually learning more right now as they play together”.
According to Psychology Today, pretend play or make-believe play is the acting out of stories which involve multiple perspectives and the playful manipulation of ideas and emotions, that reflect a critical feature of the child’s cognitive and social development. Can you imagine if we wouldn’t let our children express themselves or to even use their imagination on a daily basis? Pretend play and cognitive development allows the child to express themselves with language, problem solving skills, and social interactions. I have known students who are very shy and wouldn’t answer in the classroom, but when it came time to play in the kitchen center or puppet center, it’s like they would become a totally different child! Some children need this time to express their feelings and emotions. Whether it’s by themselves, with parents, other children or imaginary friends.
Personally, pretend play is a big part of our daily lessons. Looking at the pictures above you can see my girls dancing, acting out, and singing to Disney’s Frozen Soundtrack. Both girls got Anna and Elsa costumes during Christmas, so they have been dressing up as the sisters daily. This is an important part of my day, because just like the movie the girls try to mimic everything the sisters do during the songs. As a mother it’s amazing to watch.
The girls have two different suitcases filled with different costumes and accessories which allow them to explore Princess, Pirate, Chef, Mother, Doctor, Construction Worker, and so much more! Remember, a child doesn’t need much to play or pretend play, just their imagination!
Do your little one’s like to dress up and pretend play?