The Essentials for Dramatic/Pretend Play Dramatic play or pretend play involves acting out scenes based on real life. This is a great way to let your child’s dramatic side out...
Dramatic play or pretend play involves acting out scenes based on real life. This is a great way to let your child’s dramatic side out and teach her about the world. Most kids will be experts at watching and will love bringing these every day scenes that they see, such as going grocery shopping or barbequing with dad, to life.
There are a number of benefits to pretend play. Not only is it fun for your child and for you as well but it can also:
- Help to build their vocabulary and establish communication
- Develop both their fine and large muscle skills
- Teach them hand eye coordination
- Allow them to experiment with people and things
- Teach them about the world around them
- Help them to face problems and come up with solutions
- Encourage them to express their feelings and create ease in situations where they may not be comfortable
Bringing Out the Drama Queen in Your Child
Small children are naturally dramatic so why not encourage it with some of these fun role playing ideas:
- Beach Fun – live far away from the beach? Grab towels, sunglasses and a picnic basket and head into the backyard sandbox where you can build sand castles and enjoy sand play without the long drive and salty water
- Camping – backyard camping can be much more affordable and easy to clean up from than the real thing. Props needed for a pretend camping expedition include a tent (or blanket draped over the couch or table), sleeping bags, cooking utensils, plastic food and a log for the fire
- Fishing – all you need for a day of fishing is a plastic tub or cardboard box boat, wooden dowels with string for fishing rods, a tackle box and life jackets.
- Doctor – Does Mummy have an ouchie? Grab a first aid kit, bandages, a doctor’s coat or nurse’s hat and make up a bed for your little Doctor’s special patient
- Grocery Store – plastic fruit, veggies, play food, a cash register, paper bags and play money is all you need for this perfect pretend play game
- Hairdresser – does your child love going to the salon? Why not bring it to her with empty shampoo bottles, combs, wigs, hair ribbon and an old blow dryer with the cord cut off. Or, grab some empty nail polish bottles and set up a manicure station as well
- Pet Store – set up a pet store at home with stuffed animals, a cash register, play money and empty pet food boxes
- Restaurant – teach your child the basics of dining out by setting up a restaurant at home. Set up some tables and chairs with menus, plastic food and plastic dishes. You can even bring out the fancy tablecloth for such an important occasion
- A Picnic or Tea Party – teach your child how to be the perfect hostess by setting up a tea party or picnic for all of her stuffed animals. You will need a picnic set, play food, a tea cup set with water as well as a table and chairs for the guests to sit
- Dress Up – children love dressing up. Soar through the sky, or your backyard with towels as capes and swimming goggles as super heroes or play the part of a Fairy Princess with a tiara, gown and a pair of your high heels.
Dramatic play doesn’t have to be expensive. You can shop for costumes at second hand stores or check out the sales after Halloween. Use your imagination and think like a child when setting the stage for dramatic play.
For more great kids activities, check out our other kids activities posts – click here!