Role play is an integral part of the developmental learning process, it allows children to develop skills such as abstract thinking and social skills in a natural manner.
Assigning roles in play
Dramatic play is the type of play where children accept and assign roles, and act them out. It is when they pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, and dramatise situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play.
Using props in pretend play
Social/Emotional Development – When children come together in a dramatic play experience, they have to agree on a topic, negotiate roles, and cooperate to bring it all together.
Negotiating and sharing roles
Physical Development – Dramatic play helps children develop both gross and fine motor skills eg dressing a doll, doing up buttons…
Gross Motor Development
Cognitive Development – When children are involved in make-believe play, they make use of pictures they have created in their minds to recreate past experiences, which is a form of abstract thinking. Setting a table for a meal, counting out change as a cashier… By adding props – road signs, food boxes and cans, paper and pencils to the materials included in the area, we help children develop their numeracy and literacy skills. When children come together in this form of play, they learn how to share ideas, and solve problems together.
Props in role play
Language Development – In order to work together in a dramatic play situation, children learn to use language to explain what they are doing. They learn to ask and answer questions and the words they use fit whatever role they are playing. Personal vocabularies grow as they begin to use new words appropriately.
Developing oral language
Dramatic play engages children in both life and learning. It builds their understanding of the world they live in, and develops the personal skills that will help them meet with success throughout their lives.
The Mud Kitchen