Have you ever seen your child role play at home? After the sheer excitement of hearing those first words come out of their mouths, it seems like no time until they start having funny conversations with themselves while playing with toys. Trust us, this is really exciting stuff!
Why should you get excited when they start role playing? Role playing is a way for children to understand the world around them. It broadens their imaginations, provides a space to communicate and allows them to develop strong problem-solving skills. Even child therapists use role playing as a way to help children process difficult situations. As children play different characters, they are able to let their creativity and imagination take over by acting out real life roles.
You may notice some different types of characters they play. Here are some types of role playing scenarios you might see them do and what they may teach your child:
These include roles like playing doctor, nurse, fireman, or teacher. When kids role play with these real life occupations, they learn about empathy and helping others.
For those who like to play around as superheroes, princesses, unicorns, or knights, they are interested in the idea of supernatural powers and being brave. They may also start to formulate their sense of right and wrong, good versus evil.
Real Life Situations
When children play around with toys they see in their real life, such as kitchen sets or baby dolls, they are mirroring what they see around them and this helps with their communication skills and physical mannerisms.
Role playing aids in all areas of a child’s development. These areas are: cognitive, language, physical, and social-emotional development. Role playing at an early age will help with these important areas of growth.
Encouraging children to role play shouldn’t be too hard, as they may naturally want to play that way, but having different toys to help doesn’t hurt. You can also begin role playing by acting out a specific character first and having your child follow. Dress up in costumes and create different arts and crafts that may go along with your costume. The ideas are endless!
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