Dramatic Play or also known as Pretend Play, has many benefits to your child’s development. You don’t need fancy dress up clothes to encourage pretend play, give your child a pair of your sunglasses, a shirt of yours and let the fun begin! It’s natural for children to want to “make believe”. For example, Dora and Boots rode along with us to the grocery store yesterday. I had to buckle them in the car and all (me playing along with my daughter’s pretend play.) Encourage it, play along and please never ever make your child feel bad for their dramatic play.

I read an article on Scholastic‘s website about how pretend play can actually help increase your child’s empathy! This is great news! Read more about the benefits below.

  • Social and Emotional Skills
    When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. When your child pretends to be different characters, he has the experience of “walking in someone else’s shoes,” which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. It is normal for young children to see the world from their own egocentric point of view, but through maturation and cooperative play, your child will begin to understand the feelings of others. Your child also builds self-esteem when he discovers he can be anything just by pretending!
  • Language Skills
    Have you ever listened in as your child engages in imaginary play with his toys or friends? You will probably hear some words and phrases you never thought he knew! In fact, we often hear our own words reflected in the play of children. Kids can do a perfect imitation of mom, dad, and the teacher! Pretend play helps your child understand the power of language. In addition, by pretend playing with others, he learns that words give him the means to reenact a story or organize play. This process helps your child to make the connection between spoken and written language ” a skill that will later help him learn to read.
  • Thinking Skills
    Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it’s two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right material to make a roof for the playhouse, your child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever.

Read the entire article here.