"Whenever children say 'let's pretend', a new landscape of possibilities for learning is revealed. When children pretend, they try on new feelings, roles and ideas. They stretch their minds along with their imagination"- Curtis & Carter
I love doing pretend play in sessions with kids, it is so fun but sometimes it doesn’t come naturally to children. So how can you develop pretend play skills? What skills are needed to be able to 'pretend'? What if my child has a great imagination but will only play his/her own make-believe games?
Research continues to focus on the area of pretend play to investigate the impact on child development. So far, benefits include increases in language, literacy skills, emotional regulation, problem-solving and 'theory of mind'. Pretend play can be incorporated into lots of games & it can be led by a child's interests. I incorporated pretend play into my motor skill programs for both preschoolers & school-aged kids where they can fight aliens, create a farm puppet show or become a superhero. Learn more about the preschool program here & the school-aged program here.
I love listening to collaborative pretend play amongst kids where they have to solve problems, express emotions and compromise on decisions. What a great way to role-play emotions and scenarios without the actual emotion attached to the situation.
There are so many possibilities within pretend play, role-play & imaginary play. This is such an important area of development that I have explored this topic in detail for parents on My OT University which you can access through here.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Jessica Kennedy is a Certified Occupational Therapist. All information on the website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from your physician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. Do not rely on the information on the website as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the website. All medical information on the website is for informational purposes only. All activities outlined on the website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. My OT & Me is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog or website.