“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding”.
– Lloyd Alexander
Children from a very young age are intrinsically inclined towards pretend play. It is not uncommon to see little ones imitating their parents or siblings. It is their natural instinct, hence a rewarding way to experience connection with the real world. Role-play builds confidence in children; enhances their creativity along with their communication and problem solving skills. It is also an important part of a child’s physical and mental development. And the best part is that it is fun! In a school set up, role-play requires investment in props and equipment related to different themes like community helpers or different occupations. While learning about community helpers or different professions, children experience and learn much more while playing and pretending to be the characters rather than simply looking at some pictures or videos explaining the same. It allows them to be a part of real life situations and they experience interaction with others, find solutions and take responsibilities. Other than occupational roleplays, there are other kinds of themes children can act upon:
There is no doubt about fantasy being one of the most important ingredients of role-play. Even adults cannot keep their excitement away from fantasies like science fiction and super heroes. In their little world, children are truly fascinated by comic book or cartoon characters. They love to dress like them, act like them and imitate them in many ways. In early years of their lives, through playing these characters, children begin to understand the difference between right from wrong. While participating in these fantasy role-plays, children learn to collaborate with peers and while picking up the characters they also learn to negotiate.
Role-plays based on real life situations help children to get a better understanding of the real environment. These allow children to take risks, make decisions, experiment and investigate their surroundings and situations. Role-plays based on real life situations enhance empathy and emotional intelligence in children which also helps them to connect well with others.
Reasons why Role-play is important for Early Years
“Logic will take you from A to Z, however imagination will get you everywhere.”
– Albert Einstein
Children are born creative and have a natural inclination towards imagination. Role-play captures and develops these skills further. It helps children to learn about different perspectives and lay a strong foundation for genius ideas as they grow. This happens as they learn to capture ideas along with being able to create something from them.
Social and Emotional Development
“The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world,”
One of the very important components of social and emotional development is the ability to empathize with others. While playing certain characters in a particular set up and facing the given situations, children learn to step into the shoes of the character and feel and display the same feelings and emotions. This helps them in building connections and understanding others. Role-plays make children perform in scenarios which in reality they have not faced yet, hence motivating them to think out of the box for solutions due to unfamiliar situations. It naturally aids in developing problem solving skills while they interact and role-play with others.
Improves Language and Communication Skills
“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
– James Humes
Roleplay provides an amazing platform to enhance communication skills. While interacting, children build new vocabulary and learn different expressions. Once they gain command over the language, they become confident and are able to take risks with new words and expressions. They develop into effective communicators and also learn to listen to the point of views of others.
Universal Wisdom School