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Where can you find police officers, veterinarians, office workers, princesses, karate instructors, and chefs all happily working side-by-side? In a dramatic play area of a classroom, of course. A child’s pretend play in classrooms or at home is often considered fun and imaginative, but with limited educational value. The truth is, in the midst of creating a restaurant together, clomping around in grown-up shoes, or twirling around with friends in a fairytale land, children are learning to solve problems, coordinate, cooperate, and think flexibly. Imagine the skills required to turn the sandbox into a dinosaur bone excavation site! Continue reading “What is pretend play in early childhood?” »

Play has a massive impact on speech development with some children starting to talk as early as 6 months old. By the age of two, most children have a wide vocabulary of single words and are beginning to use simple sentences to communicate their needs, thoughts, and feelings. Around this time, children are also moving away from solitary play and starting to display social skills through first, parallel play, moving towards cooperative play. Continue reading “How does play enhance language development?” »

It is no secret that Pretend Play forms an essential part of a child’s development. Children learn by observing, imagining and doing. We often think of “play time” as a time reserved for running around the playground and letting off steam between lessons, or for sitting down quietly with a few good toys to tinker with. These forms of play are important in themselves, but they are not the only forms of play. Continue reading “How does pretend play help a child’s development?” »